Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Van Gogh's Bedroom-Part 1: Discuss and Create

Subject Area

Arts Education




Students will view and discuss Van Gogh's painting, The Bedroom. Next, students will elaborate on Van Gogh's art by creating a list of items to include in a depiction of their bedroom to organize and develop their artistic ideas. Lastly, students will construct a representation of their bedroom using torn paper scraps.

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

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 3 - Visual Arts


    Elaborate on an individual or prompted imaginative idea.

    Unpacked Content



    • Creativity
    • Criteria
    • Critique
    • Design
    • Media
    • Mixed media
    • Monochromatic
    • Principles of design
      • Rhythm
    • Technology
    • Visual image

    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

    • Use a variety of materials to create a three-dimensional mask showing a student's personality.
    • Use torn paper scraps to create rhythm in a landscape.
    • Plan a community/city; then, build a model of it with recyclable materials, such as cardboard, boxes, containers, and tubes.
    • Collaborate with a group to demonstrate how to care for tools used in class (such as paintbrushes).
    • After looking at Vincent van Gogh's painting, Bedroom, create a narrative painting depicting a memory of a student's personal bedroom.
    • Use appropriate visual art vocabulary during the art-making process of two-and-three-dimensional artworks.
    • Collaborate with others to create a work of art that addresses an interdisciplinary theme.
    • Read and explore books like Imagine That by Joyce Raimondo or Dinner at Magritte's by Michael Garland and then create a Surrealistic style artwork.
    • Recognize and identify choices that give meaning to a personal work of art.
    • Create a drawing using monochromatic colors (paint, oil pastels, etc.).
    • Explore individual creativity using a variety of media.
    • Understand what effects different media can have in a work of art.

    Anchor Standards

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


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Students will elaborate on Van Gogh's idea of depicting a bedroom.

    Students will construct a representation of their bedroom using torn paper. 

    Activity Details

    1. Display Van Gogh's painting, The Bedroom, for students. Read the description of the painting provided on the website. Ask the students, “What do you think may have prompted Vincent Van Gogh to decorate his room like this and why would he paint a picture of it?"

    2. Ask students to look at the items that Van Gogh chose to include in his painting. After giving students time to examine the painting, ask student volunteers to help create a list of items present in Van Gogh's bedroom. 

    3. After students help create the list, ask the question, "Why would Van Gogh choose to include these items in his painting?" Record student responses. 

    4. Next, tell students that they will be constructing an art piece to represent the objects of importance in their bedroom. 

    5. Instruct students to make a list of objects that would be important to represent in artwork depicting their own bedroom.

    6. After students create their list, explain that the students will be creating an art piece depicting their bedroom using torn paper scraps. Instruct students to only use tore paper (no cutting with scissors) and glue to create their artwork. 

    7. After setting these parameters, lead a class discussion on methods that students could use to create their artwork (for example, paper tearing strategies for making a straight line, using different types of paper to depict different textures, etc.). 

    8. Next, provide students with materials to create their torn paper artwork, such as blank paper for the background, various paper scraps, and glue. 

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    To assess student achievement of the stated learning objectives, the teacher should:

    • listen carefully to student responses during the class discussion to ensure students are elaborating on Van Gogh's artistic idea.
    • examine each student's finished artwork to determine the student's use of personal ideas while creating their art piece. 

    In addition, the teacher can assess students by requiring them to complete a 3-2-1: Write three important facts about Vincent Van Gogh’s artistic style and creativity, two questions they still have about Van Gogh or his art, and one thing they enjoyed learning about Van Gogh.

    Variation Tips

    The teacher may wish to incorporate other activities on Van Gogh using lessons provided by the Van Gogh Museum

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    The teacher will need to display Van Gogh's painting, The Bedroom, using a print or an online image, such as the digital tool provided.

    The teacher will need an interactive whiteboard, a traditional whiteboard, or chart paper. 

    The students will need art supplies to create their torn paper bedroom, such as blank paper for their background, a variety of paper scraps, and glue. 

    Digital Tools / Resources