What Is Art? PDF

(1 customer review)


The beginning of your arts education starts with understanding why people make art, where you can find art, and how art is everywhere. For ages 6 to 18.


What Is Art? is the first unit in the Layers of Learning Art Beginnings course. In this unit, you will do hands-on activities that teach creativity, the purposes of art, and how art engages our senses. It contains sections on:

  • The Drive to Create
  • Purposes of Art
  • Art All Around

It contains activities where you will:

  • Create order from disorder with building blocks
  • Paint a mug to show how art takes something plain and utilitarian to something extraordinary
  • Draw a realistic marble and paint with marbles to learn about representational and abstract art
  • Make a Monet-inspired water lilies craft to learn about beauty
  • Do a look-and-find activity to learn about political and social art
  • Create a slideshow of famous buildings to see how architecture can also be art
  • Plus much more!

Each Layers of Learning Arts unit includes library lists of books, a family read-aloud suggestion, hands-on activities, printables and paper crafts, sidebars for extra learning, and tools to help you assess student’s progress and mastery.


This unit was written to be used for a month but contains plenty of content for many more weeks of learning if you choose. This is a pick-and-choose curriculum, meant to be cycled back to in the future when your child is older. As such, it intentionally includes far more material than you can possibly cover in a month.

What Is Art? is also part of the overall Art Beginnings course, the first Year of the four year Layers of Learning Arts cycle. If you use the program in order, it will take you though the art in chronological order, tracking with the Layers of Learning History units. However, each unit stands alone and can be used independently of any other unit.

Printable Pack

This unit comes with a downloadable Printable Pack that includes all the student worksheets. The printables can be copied as many times as needed for your family or class.

This is the Printable Pack cover. You can download the Printable Pack from your receipt or from your account at Layers of Learning.

Extra Resources

This unit comes with extra weblinks and a YouTube video playlist on the Art Beginnings Resources page.


PDF Download





Cycle Year

Year One

Product Type

Single Units



1 review for What Is Art? PDF

  1. katemichelle07

    This unit really opened the kids eyes to everything that art encompasses not just art on paper/canvas and also how cultures display art

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