As the new school year approaches, elementary teachers prepare to welcome new students to their classrooms. Getting to know these young learners is crucial in building a solid foundation for a successful academic year. One creative and effective way to achieve this is through art activities.

Art activities provide an excellent opportunity for teachers to learn about their students' personalities, interests, and learning styles. By incorporating art activities into their lesson plans during the "back to school" period, teachers can create a fun and engaging learning environment that promotes self-expression and communication.

Here are some art activities and videos from the web that can be used during the "back to school" period to help teachers get to know their new students:


Self-portraits provide students with an excellent opportunity to express themselves through art. Teachers can suggest that their students utilize any art material they wish to use to create a self-portrait.

By participating in this activity, teachers can learn more about their students' likes, dislikes, and personalities while helping to develop their observational and artistic abilities.

Classroom Tip: Celebrate the weird.

The Wonderfully Weird: 3 Rules for Teaching Self-Portraits (Well) | Scribble Art Workshop
For new teachers, have ALL your students draw self-portraits. For experienced teachers, have ALL your students draw self-portraits. See a trend here? Self-portraits teach us everything, and I mean everything, we need to know about teaching art and they are a good gauge of how we’re doing as art teac

Child self-portraits are unique and special in their own way. They allow children to express themselves freely without the constraints of perfection and conformity. They are "bizarre, imperfect, diverse and beautiful", just like the children who create them.

Each self-portrait tells a story and reflects the personality of the artist. As teachers, it is essential to celebrate and appreciate the uniqueness of each child's self-portrait. By doing so, we are valuing their creativity and boosting their self-confidence and self-esteem.


An excellent art activity for students to express their interests and hobbies is collage. Teachers can provide old magazines, newspapers, and other materials to provide students with materials they may find helpful in creating their collage. Teachers can utilize this activity to gain valuable information regarding their students' likes and dislikes, which can be used to understand them better and prepare future lessons.

Classroom Tip: Watch this video with your class.

Talk about how celebrated French artist, Henri Matisse discovered a "new way to paint" using a pair of scissors. Ask your class how they would use cutouts to create a range of images that represent themselves.

Name Design

Teachers can give their students a piece of paper and a few art supplies and ask them to design their names to reflect their personalities. Name design is a simple activity that encourages students to design their names in a way that reflects their personalities.

It also helps students share their names with the class and create awareness about pronouncing them correctly, especially if their names are less common than their classmates. Teachers will be able to gain insight into their students' cultural backgrounds and individuality as a result of this activity.

Classroom Tip: Watch this video with your class.

  1. Please encourage students to share the stories behind their names. This can help your class understand that names are not just words but a reflection of one's identity and cultural background.
  2. Take time to learn the correct pronunciation of each student's name and practice it in the classroom. Encourage your students to practice each other's names and correct any errors respectfully.

All About Me Booklet

This booklet idea is an excellent way for students to share what makes them unique such as their interests, hobbies, families, and favourite things about themselves. Students can complete the blank booklet with any art material that teachers provide. Students will also be able to practice their writing and drawing skills as a result of this activity, which helps teachers learn about their student's interests and backgrounds.

Classroom Tip: Embrace Diversity.

Take this opportunity to talk to your class about the benefits of diversity in the classroom. Particularly, how learning about each other's cultures and backgrounds can enrich everyone's experience. Encourage students to embrace their differences and learn from each other.


In conclusion, art activities provide elementary teachers an excellent opportunity to get to know their new students better during the "back to school" period. Incorporating these activities into lesson plans can provide teachers with a fun and engaging learning environment that promotes creativity, self-expression, and communication.

With the information gained from these activities, teachers can better tailor their lessons to their student's needs and preferences, creating a successful and enjoyable academic year for all.

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