This is a simple lesson that I like to do at the beginning of the year. I usually do it with First Grade but it can be done with any grade. We discuss lines and shapes and look for examples in the classroom.
Then the students follow a set of directions and draw using permanent marker. For example: draw three straight lines anywhere on your paper. Two lines must go off the page. Then maybe the next step is to draw three empty circles, any size. The next step might be to draw a curved line that starts on a circle and goes off the page.
I usually give 5-6 drawing steps and then we talk about painting. I spend most of this lesson talking about how to use the paint brushes: big brushes for big jobs, little brushes for little jobs. How to take care of our paint supplies: be gentle with the brush, don’t scrub!. Clean brushes between colors to avoid making mud colors. We also spend a fair amount of time on clean-up.
Because it is just me with 25-30+ students, it is critical that we have a smooth system to make art making and clean-up run efficiently. Because kids love paint, I like to do a lot of paint projects. Taking extra time to clearly explain everything early on saves time and frustration later.