Straw Painting Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Straws are very useful devices and can make great tools for painting. This lesson plan teaches students how to use straws to create unique paintings. A fun group activity gives them the chance to try it for themselves.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss both common and unusual uses for straws.
  • Explain how straws can be used for painting.
  • List the materials needed for straw painting.


60 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.


  • Several examples of straw painting
  • Different types of straws (plastic, bendable, paper and glass)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Small paper plates
  • Water
  • White butcher paper
  • Fine-tipped markers


  • Begin by displaying the examples of straw painting for the class.
    • How would you describe these paintings?
    • If you wanted to copy one or more of these paintings, how would you do so?
  • Pass around several different types of straws in the classroom.
    • What is the name for these items?
    • What are the common uses for these items?
    • Can you think of any other uses for the straws?
  • Explain to the class that the images on display were created using straws.
  • Place a small blob of paint on a paper plate and demonstrate the act of blowing through a straw to move the paint into different designs.
  • Add another color to the paper plate and blow through the straw again to show students how to blend colors.
  • Give each student a paper plate and several blobs of paint in assorted colors.
  • Now allow each student to practice moving and mixing the paint on the plate with the different types of straws.
    • Was one type of straw easier to maneuver than another?
    • Were you able to achieve different effects with the different types of straws?
    • What kinds of things do you think you could paint using the straws?

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