Cycle 2 Week 3- Book of Kells

For week three students will be doing an upside-down drawing.  The concept is about training our brains to see the image solely as a group of lines and shapes.  It also relates back to OiLs and the ability to describe and duplicate lines.

It is so, so, SO important to teach students to look at the object in front of them as they draw, and to study the lines that create that object.  People tend to draw the object they see in their mind rather than what they see in front of them.  For example, if asked to draw an apple on a table, many people would look at the apple once, then keep their head down and draw what they think a typical apple would look like.  We want students to constantly look back at the object and draw the nuances of the lines and curves- simply as a series of lines and curves, not an apple.

The lesson below relates to geography for the week.  The Book of Kells is a medieval illuminated manuscript created by monks in Ireland around 800 AD.  It is a great way to connect art to history to geography.

Each lesson below uses an evangelical symbol from the Book of Kells.  Ages 10-11 is the lion (St. Mark), ages 7-9 is the calf (St. Luke), and ages 4-6 is a bird (St. John is represented by an eagle, but I used a bird for simplicity). Check out this site for more information, specifically the Animals and Creatures in the Book of Kells presentation.  The portion entitled “Animal Symbols- The Evangelists” begins at slide 40.



9×12 envelope, or construction paper

Print-outs from lesson plan (Each student will need a paper with the dotted lines across it)

Colored pencils

Tape or putty

Whiteboard or other surface for tutor to draw on

For the envelope to “hide” the image, use anything that you can make into a pocket.  Below you can see a 9×12 envelope, two pieces of construction paper taped together, and a hanging file folder.  Anything you want to use is fine!


Below you will find lesson plans for different age groups.  The age group is a suggestion, so use the lesson that you feel is best for your students.

Note:  I’ve simplified the images in the lesson plans.  The videos show the older version, so don’t be caught off guard that the PDFs contain a slightly different picture.  The teaching concepts are exactly the same!

Ages 4-6

Click for the Cycle 2 Week 3- Book of Kells Ages 4-6 lesson.

Ages 7-9

Click for the Cycle 2 Week 3- Book of Kells Ages 7-9 lesson.

Ages 10-11

Click for the Cycle 2 Week 3- Book of Kells Ages 10-11 lesson.

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3 responses to “Cycle 2 Week 3- Book of Kells”

  1. Shayla Avatar

    Awesome ideas. Thank you.

  2. Jennifer Greven Avatar
    Jennifer Greven

    Can i tell you how much I love this blog?! This has been SO amazing for our CC!! My kids’ “Geometric Bears” turned out AMAZING this week! Thank you, thank you for doing this!! I hope that you continue for cycle 3 next year, as well! LOVE IT!! Thanks again!

    Jen Greven (Alpharetta, GA)

    1. anna Avatar

      Thanks, Jen! I plan to do Cycle 3 as well, and will start adding at-home art projects soon.

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