Jacob Lawrence Art Lessons

Art Projects and Curriculum

Discover the vibrant artistry of Jacob Lawrence with our engaging art lesson plans and art projects. Dive into Lawrence's unique style and powerful storytelling through hands-on activities designed for elementary students. From exploring themes of history and social justice to creating dynamic compositions inspired by Lawrence's work, students will delve into the rich tapestry of his art while honing their drawing skills.

Student Artwork Showcase






African American



Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000)

Jacob Lawrence was an American painter and printmaker who was one of the most important artists of the 20th century. He was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey and grew up in New York City. Lawrence was best known for his series of paintings, which often depicted the experiences of African Americans throughout history. He used vibrant colors and bold lines to tell stories of migration, slavery, and the civil rights movement.

His works are considered important because they offer a unique perspective on African American history and culture and they helped to establish the visual narrative of the African American experience. Lawrence's work is widely celebrated and is held in the collections of numerous museums and institutions around the world.

Jacob lawrence Art Lesson & Art Activity Projects for Elementary Students

The abstract art of contemporary African American artist, Jacob Lawrence, enhances Black History Month – or any other time during the school year. His art of bright patterns and shapes portrayed life in America through the eyes of this artist. The beginning and intermediate student artists explore tool shapes and the advanced artists create a cityscape. Be sure to click through the student masterpieces at the top of this page.

Art Elements Taught


Art Activity Emphasis

Abstract Shapes, Depth and Overlapping

Vocabulary Learned

abstract, depth, flat, geometric, mood, overlapping, pattern, shape, theme

Student Art Supplies

Tissue Squares, Flat Brushes, Markers
Art Lessons for Jacob Lawrence

How the Art Program Works:

1. Assembly

Introducing the Masters—Multi-Purpose Room or Classroom (20-45 minutes)

2. Student Worksheets

Learning from the Masters—Classroom (15-30 minutes)

3. Student Art Projects

Working with the Masters—Classroom (50-60 minutes)

Real Reviews from Real Teachers & Parents

See Why Everyone Loves Meet The Masters

You have a super program here!

The Meet the Masters program has been a real blessing for not only my classroom, but also to me as an individual. I love learning about the lives of these artists, and then seeing the students apply the artists’ techniques themselves. Even if you already have a stock of “projects” that you rely on, Meet the Masters is a wonderful addition to your program. I recommend this to every teacher I know!

Dave Knittel
Principal, Beautiful Savior, Grove City, OH

More Artists on the Same Track

Save more with a track purchase & teach all year long.

All tracks include:

  • Implementation guide to manage scheduling, volunteers & communication
  • Multi-level, age-appropriate curriculum for all seven artists in this track
  • Engaging PowerPoint visuals that include vocabulary, art concepts & music
  • Timed, illustrated & scripted lessons perfect for teachers or volunteers
  • Hands-on technique worksheets, art project details, art prints, games & props

*Art supplies and teacher/volunteer training DVDs can be added to your order.