Visual Arts: Comics/Pop Art

Lesson Plan: Comics/Pop Art
Grade level: 8-12
Duration: 4+ class periods
Media Type: paper, markers, colored pencils, ink pens
Subject Integration: Language Arts
National Standards for Visual Arts: (see bottom of page)
Objectives: Students will create their own visual comic strip.

(website for help with writing rubrics)


4 - Standards are exceeded
3 - Standards are met
2 - Standards may be met at a very low quality or with some exceptions
1 - Standards are not met

Vocabulary (Visual Arts Elements/Principles):

  • color
  • shape
  • line
  • texture
  • balance
  • unity
  • proportion
  • form
  • value
  • space
  • contrast
  • emphasis
  • movement
  • pattern
  • rhythm

Materials and Procedure:

Day 1:
Begin lesson by sharing images of examples of pop artists / comic artists. Ask students what they know about pop-art, cartoons, graphic novels, comic strips, etc. Start a conversation: “What are graphic novels?” “What is a comic strip?”

Show PlayList video about John Hoban, Duluth Public Schools art teacher: Duluth artist / teacher John Hoban (4:34)

Continue discussion: “What did you notice about Mr. Hoban’s artwork?” “How did he start creating comics?” “Who was he inspired by?”

Discuss/present elements of a cartoon strip, and types of speech bubbles. Present history of timeline of cartooning. (1860’s: political cartoons, 1906: humorous cartoons, 1928: Introduction of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, 1940: Tom and Jerry introduced to comic strips and short animations, 1940: cartooning explosion! 1980 to present: increase of animated comics in TV and movies, graphic novels, newspapers, etc.)

Make several cartoon / comic strip templates available to students. Have students choose a template to create their own comic strip. Discuss hero / villain. Students will create a rough draft comic strip to tell a story. Students will explain their story through hand drawn pictures and words: “What is happening in the story? What is the setting? Who is in the story?” Students will sketch ideas and follow steps in this process.

Day 2-3: Students will continue to create rough draft of ideas.

Day 4-6: After teacher approves rough draft(s), students will create final copy of comic strip artwork.





National Standards for Visual Arts:

Sample National Visual Arts Standards: More could be covered. See link above.

VA:Cr2.1.6a: Demonstrate openness in trying new ideas, materials, methods, and approaches in making works of art and design.
VA:Cr3.1.6a: Reflect on whether personal artwork conveys the intended meaning and revise accordingly.
VA:Re.7.2.8a: Compare and contrast contexts and media in which viewers encounter images that influence ideas, emotions, and actions.

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

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