Visual Arts: Miro’ Paintings

Grade level: K-5
Duration: Four 1-hour class sessions
Media Type: paint (tempera or acrylic) Subject Integration: Visual Literacy
National Standards for Visual Arts: (see bottom of page)
Objectives: Students will complete their own artwork after being inspired by Spanish artist, Joan Miro, and Duluth artist, Adam McCauley.

(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 or work is not attempted or very poorly done


  • Abstract Color
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Texture
  • Placement
  • Surrealism
  • Fauvism
  • Organic forms

Materials and Procedure:

  • Paper
  • Tempera paint or acrylic paint
  • Water containers
  • Water
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pencils
  • Sand

Day 1:
Show students various works by Joan Miro’, and share information: Miro’ was born in Madrid, Spain on April 20, 1893 and died on December 25th, 1983. He lived to be 90 years old. Miro’ began drawing classes when he was 7 years old, and went to both art school and business school as an adult. Miro’ was influenced by other famous artists, such as, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne.

Students are amazing at noticing details that adults do not. Give students time to look and process what they are seeing in Miro’s work. Students enjoy studying artwork and responding to what they see. (See discussion questions below.) Show students PlayList video about artist, Adam McCauley.

Painter Adam McCauley (3:24)
Creative Control (1:58)

Discuss Adam’s work. Address the fact that Adam likes to mix sand into his paint to give it rich texture. Discuss similarities and differences between Adam McCauley’s work and Joan Miro’s work.

After discussing Joan Miro’s and Adam McCauley’s work, students are given canvas fabric pieces (8”x10”) and a pencil to sketch out their own ideas relating to his work.

Day 2:
Review key concepts from introduction of lesson. Students continue planning artwork. Students start to paint. Allow students to add sand to their paint as Adam does to show texture.

Day 3:
Student’s continue/finish painting during this class time.

Day 4:
Hold a mini classroom art show/critique with students. Allow students to view other student’s work and make positive comments of interest about others artwork. Have students give positive comments on small pieces of paper about each student’s work. This is a fun way for students to respond to other’s work. It is also a positive way to receive feedback about your own (student) work.

Discussion Questions:
“What do you see?” “What was Miro’ trying to show you through his artwork?” “Why did he choose to paint those lines and shapes?” “Why did Miro choose those colors?” “What else do you see?” “Why does Adam McCauley paint the way he does?” “What does he say about things in his work being “too figurative”?” “How does he feel about this in relation to his work?”


Adam McCauley:

Joan Miro’:


  • Joan Miro’: The Ladder of Escape by Marko Daniel and Matthew Gale
  • Joan Miro’: 1893-1983 by Janis Mink
  • Joan Miro’ by Rosa Malet and Joan Miro’
  • Joan Miro’ (MoMA Artist Series) by Carolyn Lanchner and Joan Miro’

National Standards for Visual Arts:

Content Standard #1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Achievement Standard:
Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes. Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses. Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories. Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

Content Standard #2: Using knowledge of structures and functions
Achievement Standard:
Students know the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas. Students describe how different expressive features and organizational principles cause different responses. Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas.

Content Standard #3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Achievement Standard:
Students explore and understand prospective content for works of art. Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

Content Standard #4: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Achievement Standard:
Students know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationships to various cultures. Students identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places. Students demonstrate how history, culture, and the visual arts can influence each other in making and studying works of art.

Content Standard #5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
Achievement Standard:
Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.
Students describe how people's experiences influence the development of specific artworks. Students understand there are different responses to specific artworks.

Content Standard #6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Achievement Standard:
Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines. Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.

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.

Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment