Lesson 1: Texture: Charcoal mark making

After experimenting with the different marks that charcoal can make, children are challenged to represent the meaning of a given list of words and phrases, in an abstract way.

Before the lesson

Learning objective

  • To develop a range of mark-making techniques

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Create sketchbooks to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
  • Improve their mastery of Art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Might be shown how to break the charcoal and shape the end to make different types of marks. They might also be shown how to hold it in different ways and how to move their hand in different ways to vary the marks they make.


Pupils working at greater depth: Might go on to produce a second abstract composition based on their favourite marks.

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…
Find out more