Jean-Michel Basquiat Elementary Art Lesson Pre-K to 6th Grade



Josey’s Art School


Studying Art with the Masters


Robin Norgren, M.A.

This Lesson: Jean-Michel Basquiat - “Untitled”




·       Basquiat’s mom instilled a love for art in her young son by taking him to art museums in Manhattan and enrolling him as a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

·       Basquiat was a precocious child who learned how to read and write by age four and was a gifted artist.

·       His paintings are typically covered with text and codes of all kinds: words, letters, numerals, pictograms, logos, map symbols, diagrams and more.

·       Basquiat doodled often; they were often colored pencil on paper with a loose and spontaneous style. His work across all mediums displays a childlike fascination with the process of creating.



 Materials needed

Pencil (to write the child’s name on the back of the work)

Black pen (optional)

8.5x11 piece of copy paper.  If you plan on painting the drawing it would be best to use a heavier grade paper.

This is a lesson that can be adapted in many ways depending on the age and skill level of your classroom. 

Tempura or Acrylic paints – blue, green, white, black

Cardboard fragments

Scrap paper

Rounded larger than the usual thin Paint brushes

Water/water bowls


Length of Time/Duration of project:

30-40 minutes

Prep work:

Gather the materials

Create a sample

Cut your cardboard into squares/triangles/rectangles

This should take no more than about 20 -30 minutes



1.   Take your piece of paper that you are using as the base for the project and write the child’s name on the back of the paper or let them write their names on their own.



2.   Take the paintbrush and begin to paint with your blue paint in a circular motion.