Art Subs

Setting up for a sub use to be a nightmare for me. Substitutes were reluctant to sub art; they had no art background and they innocently messed up the current project anyway. So I created an art booklet for each grade level that was sub-friendly. The highly structured lessons made class management easier too. Now leaving for a conference or emergency illness is no sweat for me. I also use the booklets throughout the year between art projects.

Directed Draw Booklets 
The sub would do a directed drawing from a MASTER DRAWING BOOK with drawings already set up in step by step format.  Using the overhead or drawing on the board, the sub would draw and students would follow each step in their own booklet, then color with crayons. At the end of the school year the booklet was a nice example of drawings to take home.

1. Kindergarteners - 123 DRAW BOOK - Directed Draw

Above is the Master Drawing Book for the kindergarten classes and
 the teacher's book to demonstrate the drawings in.

 This turtle page is an example of the step by step drawings seen in the Master Drawing Book. 
The sub follows these steps while demonstrating how to draw to the students.

This is the student's turtle drawing.

2. First Grade - MY ABC DRAWING BOOKLET - Directed Draw

Above is the Master Drawing Book for the 1st grade classes and
 the teacher's book to demonstrate the drawings in.

This is the first grader's ABC DRAWING BOOK.  On the first day of school we complete the cover page. Each page is alphabetized with a letter the picture we are drawing begins with. 
For example: B is for BEAR, C is for  CAT, D is for DRAGONFLY.

3. Second Graders - MY CARTOON BOOK - Directed Draw 

Above is the Master Drawing Book for the 2nd grade classes and
 the teacher's book to demonstrate the drawings in.

It follows the ABC format with each page a letter. For example: A is for Angry Bee, B is for Bored Banana, C is for Crazy Cat.  In the back off the book are pages with sample cartoon eyes, noses, and mouths to use in their art. Each character we draw has a mood to express.

Sample page in the 2nd grade Master Drawing Book

Sample page in the 2nd grade Master Drawing Book

Sample page in the 2nd grade Master Drawing Book 

This is a 2nd grader's MY CARTOON BOOK. We worked on 
the cover drawing the first day of art class.

This is a page from the student's book. All the pages look like this.

This is a second grader's drawing of the Crazy Cat. The eyes are #7 from the EYE Page (see below). The mouth is #2 from the MOUTH Page (see below).

 The back two pages have sample eyes, noses, and mouths the second graders must use.

4. Third Graders - ART CHALLENGE

Students select a mini art project spelled out in an envelope. Once the project is completed students have the art teacher sign them off, then they select another mini art project. The student who completes the most projects by the end of the year earns a prize.

5. Fourth Graders -  JOURNALS

Fourth Graders -  Journal - We created a old, leather-like Journal, illustrated with bear scratches, maps, arrows, feathers, compasses, animal footprints, etc. It's a collaboration with the 4th grade Social Studies on Lewis and Clark. Throughout the year students work independently on pages in their journal. Each page explains what they should draw. The student who completes the most pages by the end of the year earns a prize. They also earn "Dragon Gold" for positive behaviors. This is explained on the CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT page.

6. Fifth Graders - FAMOUS ARTISTS Booklet

Fifth Graders work in a booklet based on Famous Artists. Each page they complete earns them one million dollars. Students also earn a million for positive behaviors. At the end of the school year we have an Art Auction where the 5th graders buy and sell their own cartoon prints. They also earn clues that solve a curious mystery as well.

7. Sixth Graders - ANCIENT CULTURES Booklet

Sixth Graders work in an Ancient Cultures Booklet and earn goats as they complete "Ancient Cultures Challenges." On the last day of school  we hold a goat auction, where sixth graders sell their goats for art items, books, candy, pop, things I can buy cheaply. Students also have earned Goats for positive behaviors.


  1. I love all of these ideas. I just wish you had more pictures or were willing to share your electronic files. I really like the folders...just don't know what is inside and I guess my creativity is limited!

  2. Thanks for your comments. I would love to share and make another teacher's life easier. The art sub booklets were created by cutting and pasting text and drawings, so I don't have pages that can be e-mailed - yet!