OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast

Students use oil pastels on overhead transparency to create a greeting card for a specific purpose.

Required Time

60 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 6


Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


blend colour contrast


Oil Pastels Markers Pencils Drawing Paper Overhead Transparency, 11 cm x 13.5 cm (4.25" x 5.5") Clear Photo Corner Stickers (optional) White Glue Glitter Glue (optional) Construction Paper 13.5 cm x 22 cm (5.5" x 8.5")


OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step One

Step One

BEFORE YOU BEGIN – test the transparency. Make a mark on each side with an oil pastel and choose the side that works best. Simply rub off the oil pastel marks with a paper towel once you have completed this test.

  1. Draw a rectangle the same size as the transparency on a piece of drawing paper. 
  2. Draw your picture inside the rectangle.
OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Place the overhead transparency on top of the drawing.
  2. Use a Crayola Fabric Marker to trace the drawing onto the overhead transparency.


  1. Draw directly on the transparency with the oil pastel and do not outline with marker first.
OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Place the drawing marker side up.
  2. Use oil pastels to colour the drawing.
    - Use a small piece of paper towel or tissue to clean the tip of the oil pastel if it picks up other colours.
OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Place the picture, OIL PASTEL SIDE DOWN on different colours of construction paper until you find the colour that looks best.
  2. Fold the construction paper in half short end to short end.
  3. Use photo corners, or small drops of glue to attach the picture to the paper. (Your picture will be reversed.)
  4. You may decide to add some glitter glue on top of the transparency.
  5. Write a message inside the card.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Use oil pastels to draw a simple design;
  2. Create a greeting card for a specific purpose;
  3. Use blending to create contrast; and
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.


Have students:

  1. Explore oil pastel techniques using lessons available on this website.
    Exploring Oil Pastels
  2. Use a variety of oil pastel skills to draw pictures based on a theme they are studying.


  1. Download the Colour and Contrast posters available on this website.
  2. Cut overhead transparencies (the 'write on' type) into quarter sheets.
  3. Gather and make available picture books about snail mail, for example, The Jolly Postman Or Other Peoples Letters, by Allan Ahlberg, and Janet Ahlberg; Dear Mr. Blueberry, by Simon James; Sincerely Yours: Writing Your Own Letter, by Nancy Loewen; Dear Mrs. Larue: Letters From Obedience School, by Mark Teague. 


  1. Discuss card giving in general.
    - Why and when do we send/give cards?
    - How do we choose the cards we give?
    - What are some of their favourite kinds of cards?
    - How have cards changed with technology?
  2. Brainstorm reasons to make and send their own cards, focusing on people they would want to send a special card to and why.
  3. Focus on the purpose or theme of the card, and what an appropriate design would be. 
  4. Introduce/review the characteristics of contrast and how it can be achieved using oil pastels and blended colours. 
  5. Introduce the challenge


The Challenge

  1. Use oil pastels to draw a simple design.
  2. Create a greeting card for a specific purpose.
  3. Use blending to create contrast.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    design suits the purpose
    - colours are bright and strong

    - blended colours create contrast
    - card is in good condition
  3. Demonstrate the technique as you guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students in groups of about 6.
  2. Ask them to share thoughts about the works.
  3. During the discussion include references to: 
     Colour – How does the colour create contrast?
    -  Design – How does the design suit the purpose of the card?
    -  Technical Accomplishment – How does attention to detail contribute to the overall effect of the design?
  4. Ask volunteers to share some ideas with the whole class.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience. 
  3. Have students reflect on their own artworks in their sketchbooks. Ask students:
    - What worked well in your artwork? Why?
    - What would you change or do differently next time?                                                                                                                                
    - What will it feel like to give this card to someone special? Why?