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Perspective. It’s all around us. It affects how we see everything in our environment. This lesson is an introduction to one point perspective for young students. This lesson can work with all students from K-5, but there will be a large variation on the final pieces. This lesson also deals with primary colours and is a good introduction to the use of colour.


For students K-2: have a drawing on the board with the drawing provided above.

This is important since all students must begin with the horizon line and vanishing point. For students K-2, prepare a sheet ahead of time that already has the horizon line and vanishing point printed on it. This will be the outline that the students base the rest of their drawings on. (Note: leave out the arrows and words from the student templates) Have students 3-5 draw these lines for themselves based on the one from the board.


Note:  The example image of Yvon Gallant’s painting Aveugles au coin du St-Denis et Cherrier, Montreal will be on display for the class to see an example of one point perspective.

  1. Students will discuss the fact that in this painting most of the main lines all meet in the very centre of the painting.
  2. Students will be told that when an image looks like this it is called perspective. Perhaps having other images, including photographs that have great examples of one point perspective would be helpful for this discussion. These images can be found very easily by searching “one point perspective” online.
  3. For students K-2: At the beginning of the lesson the students will given their template sheet with the same image as the one above.
  4. Have the vanishing point, two lines converging to it, and the horizon line pre-drawn on it. (A photocopied image works perfectly fine).
  5. After the discussion about perspective, students will be told to use a pencil and draw in their cityscape in the image.
  6. Instruct students that the background (for example: mountains, houses, forest) needs to be drawn ON and ABOVE the horizon line.
  7. Next students will be told to put their foreground in with an attempt to put larger images at the bottom of the page, and have them decrease in size as they go towards the vanishing point.
  8. This may seem complex for students around the age of 5, but they are capable of understanding the concept of  “larger in front and smaller in back”.
  9. For students 3-5: At the beginning of the lesson the students will copy the image from the board.
  10. Advise students to be careful when selecting their vanishing point and draw a straight horizon line and two converging lines.
  11. After they have completed the initial sketch and discussion they now free to add details into their image.
  12. Explain to students that the images at the bottom of the page appear larger and get smaller as they begin to converge at the vanishing point.
  13. Students will also be told to try and make their objects in their image all point back towards the vanishing point.  Instruct students to draw their background along the horizon line.
  14. For all students: Once they have taken the time to draw out they picture, they will now take the time to colour in their image.
  15. They will be told to only use primary colours (red, blue, yellow with the addition of white). The colour black should be avoided for this lesson. They can colour in their image with either paint, coloured pencils, markers, or crayons depending on school resources and time available.
  16. Painting and the supplies needed for set up take a longer amount of time, and this lesson does not necessarily need paint. Therefore it is a good opportunity to work with coloured pencils and markers.
  17. For students who have completed their assignment they can attempt to create a different image placing the vanishing point off to the side of the page.
  18. Students draw their guiding lines to this point and base their image on this new vanishing point.
  19. Have a discussion period where other students look at the variation of imagination from their peers. Students will be encouraged to discuss their peers’ work as it helps develop confidence and pride in their work.

Tips and Tricks

Students 3-5: use rulers to create their horizon and converging lines to help with accuracy.