As children get older, they can tackle more complicated types of art projects. So today we’re going to continue this approach to discuss art for middle school children. And among the many reasons why kids need art during the ages of 11–14 is the ability to reinforce problem-solving, communication and focus, plus other skills required for academic achievement.
5 Art Projects for Middle School Students
There are countless engaging art projects suitable for grades 6–8, with many of them integrating math, science, history and more. Here are five of our favorite projects.
1. Paint a Self-Portrait
Self-portraits are fun, thought-provoking projects that can be adapted to any age group. Looking in the mirror or studying a photograph encourages a child to think about their identity and replicate it creatively on paper. A child must study the shapes and locations of their features, then consider how they will look using various art styles – such as a detail-oriented or abstract technique.
2. Art History Project
Art history projects offer an engaging path into the various movements including modernism, impressionism and expressionism. Learning about art history, the lives of great painters and the development of artistic styles can help contextualize art for children as they grow up. For example, discuss the history and techniques of the pop art movement and have kids create their own art based on the style.
3. Optical Art
Optical art is an abstract style that uses shapes, colors and patterns to mislead our brains. Not only is it fun to look at optical illusions, they provide accessible art projects for middle school kids. Integrating art into STEM is a growing trend, and optical illusions are an example of art combining science and math principles.
4. Design a Comic Strip
A comic strip uses art and storytelling within a clear, structured format. Projects require kids to develop a concept, consider how to convey the information visually – and maintain a cohesive pattern. This would be a great assignment to do in place of a traditional book report in English.
5. Word Art
Art projects designed around a single word are fun and creative, and also expand the vocabulary. For art projects in the classroom, you could compile a list of words based on historical, scientific or literary concepts. Children then look up the meaning of the word and create an artwork with the available resources at their disposal. This approach could also be used to study how to spell words.
Middle School Art Projects to Inspire Classroom Creativity
Golden Road Arts creates comprehensive art lessons for preschool, elementary and middle school children. We provide easy access to quality instructional and art literacy classes for use at home or in the classroom. To see our content library, watch our free art lessons here. You can also support us by donating or buying art from our gallery.