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Life Lessons in all Shapes

4th and 5th grade

Big Idea

Personal narratives with comics

Key Concepts

  • Art can tell stories. It can be read, like reading a book

  • Sharing our experiences can help us process how we feel and understand ourselves better

  • Listening to our classmates stories can help us understand them better and see the world from a different perspective.

Students experiment with new ways of observational drawing.

Essential Questions

Students compare and contrast paintings in a discussion focused on interpreting artwork.

  1. In what ways do artists tell stories?

  2. Is it important to tell our stories/experiences? Why?

  3. How does listening to other peoples stories build community, empathy, connections?

  4. How does art help us understand the lives of people who are different from us?

National Art Standards


  • 4th-VA:Cr2.3.4a  Document, describe, and represent regional constructed environments.

  • 5th- VA:Cr2.3.5a  Identify, describe, and visually document places and/or objects of personal significance.


  • 4th- VA:Re.7.2.4a Analyze components in visual imagery that convey messages.

  • 5th- VA:Re.7.1.5a Compare one's own interpretation of a work of art with the interpretation of others.


  • 4th-VA:Cn11.1.4a Through observation, infer information about time, place, and culture in which a work of art was created. 

  • 5th- VA:Cn11.1.5a Identify how art is used to inform or change beliefs, values, or behaviors of an individual or society.

Featured Artists

Laylah Ali

Pranav Sood

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Lynda Barry

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Looking and Talking 

  • What is the story, what do you think is going on?

  • What do you see that makes you say that?

Students generated ideas for personal narratives collaboratively using Jamboard.
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Student Work
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