ARTSEDGE Lessons for Elementary School

Visual Arts Careers

Do you have what it takes to be a Fashion Designer, Architect, or Graphic Designer?


Key Staff

Classroom Teacher

Key Skills

Making Art: Producing, Executing and Performing
Creative Thinking: Creativity and Innovation
Developing Arts Literacies: Applying Vocabulary


This lesson exposes students to three careers in the visual arts. Students will move through three different "art stations", where they can explore and create in the medium using art supplies. Students will make a career book which will contain a description of each visual arts career and a work sample of the medium.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact visual artists have in many areas of daily life and our community
  • use a variety of visual media to explore three careers in visual arts
  • create a visual arts career book containing work samples and career descriptions

Teaching Approach

Comprehensive Arts Education

Teaching Methods

  • Hands-On Learning
  • Independent Practice
  • Group or Individual Instruction

Assessment Type

Informal Assessment


What You'll Need

Required Technology
  • 1 Computer per Learner
  • Projector
  • Digital Camera
Technology Notes

You will need Internet Access.

Lesson Setup

Teacher Background

Teacher should have a basic understanding of the job description, activities, and education required for each of the careers: fashion designer, architect, and graphic designer.

Prior Student Knowledge

Students should have an understanding of visual arts as a category withing the arts in general as well as some of the disciplines of visual arts (drawing, painting, scultpture, etc.).

Physical Space



  • Individualized Instruction
  • Small Group Instruction


Each of the three stations must be set up with all necessary supplies (see Materials section).

Accessibility Notes

Students with physical disabilities may need modified movements.



1. Ask students to name examples of visual art that they see in their daily lives , and list on the board.  Encourage students to consider the items they touch and places they go during the day.

2. Ask students to name the careers of the people who created the items in the examples.  List them on the board next to each example.  Let students know that they will get a chance to explore three visual arts careers: Fashion Designer, Architect, and Graphic Designer.

Build Knowledge

1. Define and discuss the three careers that will be designated in the centers. A fashion designer is an artist who designs all the things that we wear - clothes, hats, shoes, etc. Fashion designers must know how to draw and illustrate, sew, and be very creative and aware of trends.  Project the following websites (or other suitable online resource) for the class to see and explore together: "Is Fashion Design For You?" and "How To Become a Fashion Designer".

An architect is an artist who designs buildings. The architect studies all types of building styles and materials. Some architects also design landscapes around buildings and parks. Architects must know all about construction and structure, the interior and exterior of buildings. Project the following site and explore it with the students: http://www.bls.gov/k12/build04.htm.

A graphic artist is a broad category that includes many types of artists. The type of graphic artist that students will learn about in this learning station designs all the commercial packaging we see in our stores and markets. Graphic artists study design, form, and even marketing. The work of the graphic artist must grab the attention of the customer and also sell the product.  Project this website and explore with the students: http://graphicdesign.suite101.com/article.cfm/what_is_graphic_design.

2. Discuss the need to balance art and practical needs in objects used in everyday life.  Artists want things like clothing, buildings and packaging to be artistically appealing, but it is also inportant that they can be used for their intended purposes.  Clothing must be wearable, buildings must have the right number of doors and windows, and packaging must give information about what is inside.


1. Introduce students to each of the three career stations. Briefly demonstrate what students should do at each station. If the class size is too large or there are space and/or time constraints, you may ask students to sign up for the station they prefer or assign groups of students to each center. If space is limited, you can instruct students to gather materials at the stations and then work at their desks.  Determine how long students should work at each station before rotating to the next station based on how much time you have alloted for the lesson.  Be sure to warn them when they should be preparing to move to the next station.

2. Allow students to work independently at the stations.

  • Center One: Fashion Designer

    Each student will have two copies of each of the figures. They should design two outfits for each figure (four total). The clothes should be for a very special day or occasion such as a holiday party. Students can cut and paste their clothes or draw directly on the paper. The students should print what the occasion is on the back of their papers when they have completed their work. Have students place their completed work in the finished work folder.

  • Center Two: Architect

    Each student will have a choice to design or construct one of the following:

    - a new school
    - a new house for a family of 6
    - a house or apartment for their teacher

    Students should first think about their choice and then look at some of the pictures of the buildings in the center before starting their own. What materials will you use? What size will it be? What colors will you use? Students should place their completed work in the folder at their station. If students build models, take a picture of the model. Students can also draw their models.

  • Center Three: The Graphic Artist

    Each student will design the packaging for a new cereal called "Krunchy Munchies". Students should look at the examples of cereal boxes in the center before beginning to draw. What things will you put on the front of the box, What types of images do you think of when you hear the name of the cereal? What colors will you use that will make people want to buy the cereal? Using paper and markers students will create a drawing for box front of the new cereal. The design should include the name of the cereal on the cover. Students should place their completed work in the folder at the station.


1. Have students mount their work on construction paper and title or describe each of their pieces on the bottom of the construction paper. Punch three holes on one side of each mounted piece so they can be tied together to form a book.

2. Ask students to write a paragraph describing each career and whether they think they would like to pursue that career. The name of each career should be written at the top of the page.  Students should also include a list of things they encounter daily that are created by each career.

3. Students then design a front and back cover for their books.   The front cover should include a title, the students name, the date, and any other information needed.  Students may also add illustrations to the front and back cover if time permits.  Punch holes in cover and back and assemble the book.  The career paragraph should be placed in front of the design work for each corresponding career.  Add the front and back covers and use string or yarn to tie into a finished book.  

4. Each student should present their book to the class.


Use the Assessment Rubric to assess student performance during the presentations.


Throughout the nation, standards of learning are being revised, published and adopted. During this time of transition, ARTSEDGE will continually add connections to the Common Core, Next Generation Science standards and other standards to our existing lessons, in addition to the previous versions of the National Standards across the subject areas.

The Arts Standards used in ARTSEDGE Lessons are the 1994 voluntary national arts standards. The Arts learning standards were revised in 2014; please visit the National Core Arts Standards (http://nationalartsstandards.org) for more. The Kennedy Center is working on developing new lessons to connect to these standards, while maintaining the existing lesson library aligned to the Common Core, other state standards, and the 1994 National Standards for Arts Education.

ArtsEdge Lessons connect to the National Standards for Arts Education, the Common Core Standards, and a range of other subject area standards.

Common Core/State Standards

Select state and grade(s) below, then click "Find" to display Common Core and state standards.

National Standards For Arts Education
National Standards in Other Subjects



Amy Heathcott

Helen Robertson
Original Writer



  • Maze, Stephanie. I Want to be a Fashion Designer, NY. Harcourt Childrens Books, 2000.
  • Reeves, Diane. Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Art. NY. Facts on File Inc. , 1998.
  • Yehling, Carol. Discovering Careers for your Future/Art. NY, Facts in File, Inc. 2001.


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