Art Education
Lesson Plan

Subject/Title: Sponge-Painted Ocean Mural

Grade Level: K-2 (or higher)

Objectives: To create an underwater ocean mural while allowing students to become familiar with printing techniques.

Goals: Students will create a sponge-painted ocean mural which they will later fill with colorful representations of ocean creatures.

Blue bulletin board paper, approximately 36" x 48"
Blue and turquoise tempera paint
Yellow paint
Flat paint containers (pie tins, etc.)
Sponges (including sea sponges) in a variety of sizes
Blue, silver, and gold glitter


  1. Ask students to pretend that they are swimming under water in the ocean. (Act out). What do they see? What color is the water? Are there bubbles? What types of animals to they see?
  2. Explain that students will be creating an ocean scene (that includes a sandy beach) which they will later fill with all sorts of ocean creatures and plant life.
  3. Hold up an ocean sponge and ask students to guess what it is. Have them describe it and feel its texture. Explain that sponges are sea creatures and that we'll use ocean sponges as well as man-made sponges to help create the ocean mural.
  4. Explain and demonstrate printing technique--that it uses an up and down movement and not "painting" side to side. Have students pretend to dip their sponge into pretend paint, wipe off the excess, and make a printing motion.
  5. With bulletin board paper on the floor (on newspapers), decide how much sky to have showing and put a sandy beach on one edge of the paper.
  6. Have children work on both the top and bottom of the paper to overlap their prints, allowing the texture of the sponge to show.
  7. Assist children in sprinkling a small amount of glitter onto the wet paint.


Depending on the number of students, it may be necessary to divide them into groups. While one group is printing, the other group could be drawing, coloring, and cutting out ocean creatures, coral and algae that will be glued onto the mural after it is dry.


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