Op Art Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Shared tasks and reflective contemplation are the tools in this lesson plan to help students learn about Op Art, art based on optical illusions. Your students will create original artwork after reviewing a text-based informative document.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain optical illusions
  • Describe at least two types of optical illusions
  • Demonstrate an understanding of optical illusion by producing optical illusion art


30-60 minutes with a take home extension project

Curriculum Standards


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

Please note that each state has different standards for art. Please consult your state's standards to ensure proper alignment.


  • Hard copies of the text lesson Optical Illusions: Lesson for Kids and hard copies of the lesson quiz
  • Example of a Magic Eye image
  • Color print-out of the 'dots' image at the end of the text lesson to display or project
  • Construction paper or cardstock in black and white
  • Art supplies (scissors, glue, etc)


  • Ask your students how we know about the world around us. Expect answers relating to our senses.
  • Ask if we can always believe our senses.
    • Can we always believe what we see?
    • When have you ever not believed what you saw? (Maybe at a carnival?)
  • Tell your students that today's lesson is all about optical illusions.
    • Ask for volunteers to give the definition of the words optical and illusion.

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