Lesson 2: Skulls

Taking inspiration from decorated skulls in different cultures, children trace an image of a skull and then decorate it using a medium and pattern of their choice.

Learning objective

  • To draw and decorate a skull

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • To use a range of materials creatively to design and make products
  • To develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
  • To use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop their ideas, experiences and imagination

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Some pupils may need help drawing a skull with a level of accuracy. Encourage all pupils to try to draw the skull with minimal help so they can develop their skills. Keep reassuring pupils and remind them that they are not trying to make an exact copy. If any pupils are really struggling to draw the skull, they may need a pre-drawn line drawing to use for the later stage (you can easily find these by searching for ‘skull line drawings’ on the web). 

Pupils working at greater depth: Should be able to draw the skull more easily. These pupils might research different skull patterns and designs on the web to help them create more intricate designs. Emphasis should be placed on creating original designs inspired by what they find, not copying them.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Paul Carney,  
Art & Design specialist
Paul has 22 years experience of teaching art as a specialist subject in both Primary and Secondary schools. He is a council member with the National Society for Education and his expertise has led him to deliver CPD for leading…
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