PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN – Bookmaking, Design

Students engage in critical thinking activities that help them understand the Principles of Design. Then they use a template to make a mini Principles of Design book and use fine line markers to create a design that demonstrates 3 Principles they have chosen.

Required Time

150 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 6 to Grade 10


Language Arts
Visual Arts


art balance contrast design emphasis harmony movement photography proportion repetition rhythm unity variety


Crayola Fine Line Markers Crayola Scissors Crayola Construction Paper - small pieces Crayola Glue Sticks Copy Paper - 21.6 cm x 27.9 cm (8.5" x 11")

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PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN – Bookmaking, Design - Step One

Step One

  1. Follow the instructions to create your Principles of Desiign mini book. (Downloads - Principles_Mini_Book.pdf)
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN – Bookmaking, Design - Step Two

Step Two

  1. When you have folded it correctly the outside covers of your mini book should be blank.
  2. The first 2 pages should be CONTRAST and PROPORTION.
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN – Bookmaking, Design - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Cut a small piece of construction paper to make a cover for your mini book.
  2. Use glue stick to glue the cover in place.
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN – Bookmaking, Design - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Choose 3 principles.
  2. Highlight them on the chart in your mini book.
  3. On the following 2 pages create a design that demonstrates the 3 principles.

Learning Goals

Student will be able to:

  • identify 10 commonly used principles of design;
  • create a mini book containing a design that demonstrates their understanding of 3 principles of design; 
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


Have students:

  • use their device to take photographs that demonstrate each of the principles of design;
  • use the images to create a quiz/game to test their peers' understanding of the principles;
  • get feedback from their peers as they work through the game design;
  • work in small groups to create a Games Launch event to present their games to others.



  1. Prior to the 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 Principles of Design Posters available on this website,
  3. Photocopy the Principles of Design Mini Book handout - enough for each student to have one. (Downloads - Principles_Minibook.pdf) 
    - The handout includes instructions for creating the mini book and 2 pages to be copied on a single sheet of paper. Be sure to print the pages in the correct position so the book will line up properly.
  4. Download images from the Internet for each principle, for example,


  1. Introduce the principles of design.
    the principles of design are the ways of organizing the elements to make any visual design
    - the elements are colour, value, line, texture, shape, form and space
    - if you were making a cake, the elements would be the ingredients such as eggs, flour, etc.
    - the principles would be the specific recipe you use to combine the ingredients 
    - in art and design, the principles are contrast, proportion, repetition, movement, rhythm, variety, emphasis, balance, unity and harmony
  2. View the images for each principle and discuss them as a class.
  3. Challenge students to think about or build on previous discussions about careers to include career opportunities in design, e.g., graphic designer, photographer, artist, interior decorator, clothing designer etc.
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Identify 10 commonly used principles of design.
  2. Create a mini book containing a design that demonstrates your understanding of 3 principles of design.
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  4. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

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:
    - made crisp, smooth folds when making my mini book
    - accurately constructed the mini book 
    - created a design that accurately demonstrates my 3 chosen principles of design
    - explained how my design demonstrates my 3 chosen principles of design
    - kept the paper is 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. Once the mini books are complete ask the students to share them in small groups. Ask them to:
    Look closely at the design and explain how it does or does not represent the 3 chosen principles.
    - Talk about other principles that may be present in the design.
    - Share thoughts and opinions about the effectiveness of the design.
  2. Ask some of the students to share their ideas with the whole class.



  1. Observe students as they work – attention to detail, tranfer of knowledge from lesson to activity, collaboration with classmates. 
  2. Observe students as they discuss their work – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the work and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – Principles_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – Principles_self-assessment.pdf)