Blossoming Almond Tree


These Vincent van Gogh lesson plans for kids are designed to help children of all ages understand and appreciate art. Allowing children to be creative through engaging lesson plans is a great way for young minds to be inspired and learn. These hands on activities can help improve math skills and teach art appreciation. With an array of student levels, the following lesson plans and teaching resources will help students understand more about Van Gogh, his works and the world of art.

Sunflower Measuring and Counting

Overview: Students will practice measuring and counting - improving math skills and art appreciation through the use of Van Gogh's Sunflowers and sunflower seeds.

Student Level: 1st - 2nd Grade

Time Frame: 1 hour


  • Students will communicate what they have learned about sunflowers
  • Students will improve their measuring and counting skills
  • Students will work cooperatively in groups


  • Posters, prints, or overheads of Van Gogh's Sunflowers
  • Silk or real sunflowers with stalks
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Glue
  • Crayons
  • Rulers
  • Construction Paper


  1. Begin the activity by showing a poster or print of Van Gogh's Sunflowers. Ask students to count items in the painting. For example, how many sunflowers are in the painting, how many different colors do you see?
  2. Ask students to guess what type of flower is in the painting. Then ask students to guess how tall is a sunflower. After students make guesses assign students to small groups of 2 to 3 students.
  3. Each group will receive one sunflower. In small groups, students will use rulers to measure how tall their sunflower is in inches.
  4. Next students will write how tall the sunflower is in inches at the top of his/her piece of paper underneath his/her name.
  5. Once each group's measurements have been approved each group will be given a bowl of sunflower seeds. Each student will count out the number of sunflower seeds for the number of inches counted. For example if the sunflower was 40 inches each student would count out 40 seeds.
  6. Each student will then take his counted seeds and glue them to his paper and create his own sunflower artwork with the seeds and crayons.

Additional Resources: Vincent Van Gogh Gallery - Sunflowers

The Life of a Sunflower

Overview: Students will analyze poem "Cripple" by Carl Sandburg and make comparisons between poem and Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

Student Level: 8th -10th Grade

Time Frame: 1 class period


  • Students will gain a thorough understanding of the poem "Cripple" by Carl Sandburg as well as literary analysis and criticism.
  • Students will improve their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.


  • Posters, prints, or overheads of Van Gogh's Sunflowers
  • Poem - "Cripple" by Carl Sandburg


  1. Begin the activity by showing Van Gogh's Sunflowers on the overhead. As students walk in ask them to write single words and phrases to describe the painting.
  2. When students have completed the task, ask for volunteers to give responses.
  3. Next, ask for volunteers to read the poem "Cripple" by Carl Sandburg aloud so that the poem is read at least three times aloud in class.
  4. Next, ask for student's reaction to the poem and discuss possible meanings of the poem as well as metaphors used.
  5. As an exit activity, ask students to look at the painting again and review the words that they chose to use to describe the sunflowers. Then ask each student to write a one paragraph response comparing their choice of words and the choice of words in the poem as metaphors and meaning of the poem.

Additional Resources: Vincent Van Gogh Gallery - Sunflowers

Additional Van Gogh Lesson Plans


A Celebration of Sunflowers!


Van Gogh’s Painting Style

“Postman Roulin” by Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh Flowers Art Lesson

Sunflowers, Van Gogh, and You

Vincent Van Gogh Cookies

The Lost Works of Van Gogh

Star Bright, Starry Night

Middle School

Who Am I? Self-Portraits in Art and Writing

Van Gogh Clay Plaque

Van Gogh’s Family Tree

Seeing Feelings

High School

Olive Trees

Any Grade

Van Gogh’s Starry Night to teach the hatching technique