ELEMENTS SPINNER – Elements of Design

Students use markers and/or coloured pencils to create an Elements of Design spinner that they can use to focus their art making.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour form line shape space texture value


Crayola Coloured Pencils Crayola Fine Line Markers Crayola Scissors Arrow Game Spinners - 10.2 cm (4") - 1 per student Cardstock Paper - 21.6 cm x 27.9 cm (8.5" x 11") - 1 per student Pencils Erasers Foam Sponge - about 4 cm x 18 cm (1.5" x 7")

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ELEMENTS SPINNER – Elements of Design - Step One

Step One

  1. Label each section of the circle – one for each element. (Downloads - ElementsSpinner.pdf)
  2. Create a design in each section to illustrate the element.
ELEMENTS SPINNER – Elements of Design - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Cut out the circle.
  2. Place the circle on top of a small piece of sponge.
  3. Press a pencil into the centre of the circle and into the sponge.
  4. Make a hole big enough to fit the spinner.
ELEMENTS SPINNER – Elements of Design - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Attach the spinner to the centre of the circle.
  2. To use the spinner make your own rules, e.g.,
    - Spin until you get 3 different elements.
    - Create a unique artwork that emphasizes those elements.

Learning Goals

Student will be able to:

  • create an Elements of Design spinner;
  • illustrate seven commonly used elements of design;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works.


Have students:

  • work in their sketchbooks; 
  • create their own challenges using their spinners; 
    - set the number of spins to choose elements
    - create an artwork that emphasizes those elements
  • share their work with a partner;
  • use the ideas in their sketchbooks to create a larger work of art.


  1. Prior to this lesson teach/review the elements of design.
    - You may want to use the Elements of Design lesson plan available on this website.
  2. Download and display the Elements of Design posters available on this website.
  3. Download and copy the Elements Spinner template on cardstock paper - 1 per student. (Downloads - ElementsSpinner.pdf)


  1. Review the elements of design.
    the elements of design are the building blocks used to make any visual design
    - if you were making a cake, the elements would be the ingredients such as eggs, flour and sugar
    - in art and design, the elements are line, shape, form, colour, texture, space and value.
  2. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create an Elements of Design spinner.
  2. Illustrate seven commonly used elements of design.
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  4. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - illustrated identifiable characteristics of each element 
    - printed text carefully
    - attached the spinner without damaging the paper

    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Have students work with a partner taking turns to discuss the completed spinners.
    Ask them to find:
    3 things that interest them about how the work was made
    how they felt about making this spinner and why
    - how they will use the spinner
  2. Ask some students to share ideas for using the spinner and/or for creating an elements game. 


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their spinners – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the spinner, 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 spinner.
  4. Use checklist to track progress. (Downloads – Elements_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students reflect on their spinners in their sketchbook/journals.
    Ask students:
    - What worked well in your illustrations? What do you see that makes you say that?                                             
    - What would you change or do differently next time?                          
    - Where do you see the elements of design in your day to day life?
    - How did you feel about making this spinner?