Aboriginal Art

Aboriginal Art lesson plan

Look deep into an Ancient culture, and decode a visual language of simple dots and lines! Use these symbols to create a meaningful design of your own.

  • 1.

    Traditional Aboriginal artwork is most known for its distinctive use of dots and lines. These dots and lines have meanings within the drawings. For example, a curvy line could represent rain or a river. A "U" shape is the symbol of a person.

  • 2.

    Find examples of Aboriginal artwork and research the symbolism of the dots and lines in each piece. What can you tell about their daily lives from these simple depictions?

  • 3.

    Use the Aboriginal symbols you found to create your own original work of art! On black construction paper, draw an Aboriginal design with Crayola Slick Stix™. Slick Stix contain pigments that may stain clothing, fabrics and other household surfaces. Wear a smock to protect clothing and cover your work surface with newspaper. Experiment with the Slick Stix to make interesting lines, swirls, and dots of various weights and textures!

  • 4.

    Enhance your drawing with a 3D effect! Flatten a small amount of Crayola Model Magic® on a hard surface such as a table. Firmly press a circular Model Magic Presto Dots™ tool into the flattened modeling compound, and lift to create a Model Magic dot! Model Magic that is fresh from the pack will stick to itself. Dried pieces can be glued together. Attached dots to your drawing with Crayola No-Run School Glue.


  • Students research Aboriginal symbols and identify these symbols in ancient Aboriginal artwork.
  • Students create original Aboriginal-inspired designs by replicating the culture’s artistic style and symbolism.


  • Create new symbols! What are some things in your classroom and community that can be turned into symbols? Desks? Buildings? Cars? Streets? What designs can you think of to represent these items?
  • Aborigine people tell Dreamtime stories to explain occurrences in nature, like how flowers got their colors. Explore the Aboriginal beliefs of Dreamtime, and write a Dreamtime story of your own! Share your story with the class.
  • Display each student’s Aboriginal design for the class to see. Compare the symbols used in each drawing. What Aboriginal symbols can you recognize in your classmates’ work? Did anyone create original symbols in these designs?