UP DOWN AND ALL AROUND – Line, Colour, Space

Students use strips of construction paper to create a roller coaster as they explore how lines move through space.


Required Time

60 Minutes

Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2


Language Arts
Visual Arts


line parallel roller coaster thin wide


Crayola Construction Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Scissors Crayola Washable No-Run Glue Crayola Fine Line Markers

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UP DOWN AND ALL AROUND – Line, Colour, Space - Step One

Step One

  1. Cut out lots of different strips of construction paper.
  2. Make them different widths, lengths and colours.
  3. Use these paper strips to make your roller coaster.
UP DOWN AND ALL AROUND – Line, Colour, Space - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Choose a colour for your background.
  2. Choose contrasting colours for your roller coaster.
  3. Glue the ends of the paper strips to the background and hold them in place for a few seconds.
  4. Make lots of bumps and dips.
  5. Notice the kinds of lines the paper strips are.
UP DOWN AND ALL AROUND – Line, Colour, Space - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Add signs and little carts to your roller coaster.
    - Make a cart by gluing a small strip of paper into a circle and then flattening it. 
  2. Imagine you are riding on it.
    - How does it feel?
    - What is your favourite part?
    - Who is riding with you?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a three-dimensional artwork;
  • explore line and colour;
  • work independently and self-regulate;
  • create personal responses to the centre materials;
  • share their ideas with peers; 
  • demonstrate a sense of accomplishment.


Have students:

  • view and discuss the many different kinds of lines found in an image of a work of art such as a landscape painting by Henri-Joseph Harpignies;
  • apply what they have learned to create a landscape using a variety of lines;
  • share their work with the class.


  1. Precut a variety of construction paper strips - wide, thin, long, short, various colours.
  2. Download and display the line poster available on this website.
    Teach or review lines.
    - Invite students to look around the class for all the different kinds of lines they can see. 
    - Provide each student with a piece of paper and a variety of mark making tools such as pencils, crayons, and markers.
    - Explain that you are going to give them a line dictation.
    - Ask students to listen carefully. 
    - Make a funny sound. Ask students to draw that line.
    - Continue in this way until you have made about 5 - 10 sounds/lines.
    - Compare the lines students have made.
    - Talk about the way they are the same and how they are different.
    - As students share their ideas write headings such as zigzag, fuzzy, thick, thin, long, short, bumpy on a chart paper.  
    - Have a few students add lines to the chart paper in the appropriate spaces.
  3. Gather a variety of books about lines, for example, Lines That Wiggle, by Candace Whitman; The Line, by Paula Bossio; and When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins, by Rhonda Gowler Greene.
  4. Download images of roller coasters, for example,
  5. If possible get the book Roller Coaster, by Marla Frazee.


  1. View and discuss the pictures of roller coasters,
    - make connections to students' experiences with roller coasters
    - point out all the lines they can see in the roller coaster itself 
  2. Conduct a read-aloud with the book Roller Coaster, by Marla Frazee focussing on the different emotions the characters feel and how they deal with them.
  3. Point out details in the illustrations that help communicate the story.
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a 3-dimensional, construction paper roller coaster.
  2. Use lots of different paper strip lines.
  3. Use lots of different colours.

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 design my roller coaster
    - used lots of different colours
    - used lots of paper strip lines
    - added signs 
    - added carts
    - kept the paper clean and in good condition 
  3. Guide students through the steps in this lesson.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into groups of 3 or 4 and ask them to share with each other.
    What kinds of paper strip lines do you see?
    - How does the roller coaster make you feel? Why?
    - If you were riding on this roller coaster where would you like to be right now? Why?

    - Why did you design your roller coaster this way?
    - What was difficult about making your roller coaster? What was easy?
  2. Ask some students to share their 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 their roller coasters – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the roller coasters, 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 - ROLLER_COASTER_tracking.sheet.pdf)
  5. Have primary students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - ROLLER_COASTER_self-assessment.pdf)