Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

What is Pointillism?

Subject Area

Arts Education




Students will learn about Vincent Van Gogh and his style of painting. Students will use the see-think-wonder strategy to analyze the artwork. Students will create a sunflower painting using the pointillism style of Van Gogh. 

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): KG - Visual Arts


    Engage in self-directed exploration and imaginative play with art materials.

    Unpacked Content



    • Art
    • Artwork
    • Collaboratively
    • Collage
    • Cool colors
    • Warm colors
    • Elements of Art
      • Color
      • Line
      • Shape
    • Imaginative play
    • Play
    • Portfolio
    • Primary colors
    • Principles of design
      • Pattern
    • Printmaking

    Essential Questions

    EU: Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.
    EQ: What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking? What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks? How does collaboration expand the creative process?

    Skills Examples

    • Create two-dimensional artworks using finger painting, watercolors, paper collage, and rubbings.
    • Create three-dimensional artworks using techniques such as rolling, folding, cutting, molding, pinching, and pulling clay.
    • Work with a partner to create works of art.
    • Working in small groups, use recycled materials to create artworks.
    • Explore the books Why is Blue Dog Blue? by G. Rodrigue and My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss to understand color meanings and moods.
    • Read the book Lines that Wiggle by Candace Whitman to explore different styles of line.
    • Safely use and share scissors, pencils, crayons, markers, glue, paints, paintbrushes, and clay.
    • Use symbols to help tell a personal or make-believe story.
    • Manipulate art media to create textures and patterns.
    • Identify and use organic and geometric shapes to create works of art.
    • Show respect for self and others while making and viewing art.
    • Use the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) to create a free-style painting while singing the names of the colors.
    • Use patterns in designing colored stripes on the shirt of a person you know.
    • Collect found objects such as paper tubes, forks, and pieces of cardboard. Press them in shallow tempera paint, and stamp them on paper to show printmaking.
    • Create a T-chart that separates cool (blue, green, and purple) and warm (red, yellow, and orange) colors in different columns. Use the symbols of water waves for the cool column header and the sun for the warm column header.
    • Work with a partner to find colors, lines, and shapes in art and tell each other what you see.

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • identify the style of painting Van Gogh used in this painting.
    • create a work of art using the pointillism style of Van Gogh.

    Activity Details

    • The teacher will display examples of Van Gogh's sunflower artwork.
    • The students will engage in the seek-think-wonder strategy to analyze the piece of artwork.
    • The teacher poses three questions allowing think time in between each question. The teacher will chart student answers to each question.
    • 1. What do you see?
    • 2. What do you think?
    • 3. What do you wonder?
    • After students have shared their answers to each question, the teacher will share background knowledge about the artist and artwork.
    • Using a document camera, the teacher will model the style of pointillism. 
    • The teacher should show the students the style of pointillism using the Q-tip and paint. 
    • Students will practice Van Gogh's style of painting pointillism using Q-tips and paint to create a sunflower.
    • The teacher will check for understanding of Van Gogh’s style of painting by evaluating the student's painting using a rubric. 
    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will use a rubric to analyze students' understanding of Van Gogh's style.


    Variation Tips

    Watch BrainPOP Jr. video on Vincent Van Gogh. 

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation