DEEP BLUE SEA – Colour, Shape, Texture

Students create a 3-dimensional underwater scene using different mediums, textures and types of paper.  

Required Time

60 Minutes

Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 1


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour fish lake ocean shape texture


Crayola Oil Pastels - 16 Count Crayola Watercolour Paints - 8 Count Crayola Scissors Crayola Glitter Glue Crayola Regular Crayons - 16 Count Crayola Paintbrushes - 4 Count Water Containers Cardstock Paper - 21.6 cm x 27.9 cm (8 ½" x 11") - 1 per student Masking Taper Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil Table Salt Foam Adhesive Circles White Cardstock Paper - 21.6 cm x 27.9 cm (8 ½" x 11") - 2 per student

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DEEP BLUE SEA – Colour, Shape, Texture - Step One

Step One

  1. Wrap heavy duty aluminum foil around a piece of cardstock paper.
  2. Use masking tape on the back to fasten it in place.
DEEP BLUE SEA – Colour, Shape, Texture - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Draw an underwater scene.
  2. Include things such as seaweed, coral, and fish. 
  3. Draw with oil pastels and crayons.
  4. Press hard to make the colour stick.
DEEP BLUE SEA – Colour, Shape, Texture - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use watercolours to paint over the whole surface of the aluminum foil.
  2. Paint right over your drawing.
  3. Notice what happens when the paint goes over the oil pastel.
DEEP BLUE SEA – Colour, Shape, Texture - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Sprinkle salt on the wet paint.
  2. Notice what happens when the salt sits on the paint.
DEEP BLUE SEA – Colour, Shape, Texture - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Draw some sea shapes on a piece of cardstock paper.
  2. Cut out the shapes.
  3. Paint them in bright colours.
DEEP BLUE SEA – Colour, Shape, Texture - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Stick small adhesive foam pieces to the back of your shapes.
  2. Stick the shapes onto your underwater scene.
DEEP BLUE SEA – Colour, Shape, Texture - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Add some finishing touches with glitter glue.
  2. View your work with fresh eyes.
    - What do you like best about your picture? Why?
    - What happened when the salt sat on the wet paint?
    - How does that affect the feeling of the picture?
    - What part of the picture seems closest to you?
    - What do you see that makes you say that?


Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a mixed media underwater scene;
  • explore colour, shape and texture;
  • work independently and self-regulate;
  • share their ideas with peers; 
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.


  1. Dramatic Play Centre - Set your dramatic play centre up as an ocean. Hang up blue shower curtains to create the look of water. Hang green streamers from the ceiling to create seaweed. Encourage the children to help you create this centre. They might draw fish and other ocean life pictures to hang up. Ask the children if anyone has collected seashells on a trip to the beach. Maybe they can bring them in.
  2. Science Centre - Set out a variety of seashells in sand along with magnifying glasses.
  3. Social Studies - Set out maps and pictures for children to use to see where different large bodies of water are, for example, oceans, seas and the Great Lakes. Talk about related things such as where different fish live, and the differences between an ocean and a lake.
  4. Reading Centre - Set out a variety of books about fish and ocean life. 


  1. Prepare the foil wrapped cardstock for younger children.
  2. Set up some other centres in the classroom suggested under extensions.
  3. Gather images of fish, seaweed, seashells and other marine life and mount them on chart paper with space for writing students' words. Download images from the Internet.
    Flora of the Mediterranean
    Flora of the Black Sea
    Zebra Sea Bream
    Anthias Fish
    Parablennius Fish
    Spiny Seahorse
  4. Gather and make available books about oceans, seas and lakes such as National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean, by Catherine D. Hughes; Ocean Life, by Toby Reynolds and Paul Calver; Ultimate Oceanpedia: The Most Complete Ocean Reference Ever, by Christina Wilsdon; Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea: A Narwhal & Jelly Book #1; by Ben Clanton; Ocean Animals: Who's Who in the Deep Blue, by Johnna Rizzo; Over and Under the Pond, by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal; and The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister and J. Alison James.


  1. Conduct a read-aloud with a book such as Rainbow Fish by Marcus focussing on interpreting the pictures in the book.  
  2. Talk about all the beautiful colours in the ocean. 
  3. Refer to books pulled from the library about oceans, seas and lakes.
  4. Discuss the differences between oceans, seas and lakes.
    Ocean - a huge body of salt water that covers most of the earth.
    Sea - a smaller body of salt water usually partly enclosed by land.
    Lake - a large body of fresh water surrounded by land.
  5. Talk about creating a picture of the ocean. 
    - What would you include in your picture?
    - What colours would you use?
    - What ocean life would you draw?
  6. As children talk about what they will put in their pictures print their words in the appropriate space on the chart paper.​
  7. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Use your own ideas.
  2. Create a mixed media underwater scene.
  3. Explore colour, shape and texture.
  4. Work independently and self-regulate.
  5. Share your ideas with your classmates.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used my own ideas to make my picture
    - drawn things that are in the sea
    - cut out shapes
    - glued shapes to the paper
    - kept my paper in good condition
    - shared my ideas with others
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in the lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Gather students to view and discuss their paintings. Ask students to share:
    what they learned about making a mixed media painting;
    how they made their shapes stand out;
    - the details they included that bring their scene to life;
    - what they like best about their paintings and why.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their pictures – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the picture, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - SeaPainting_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - SeaPainting_self-assessment.pdf)