Please Don't Eat the Artwork


Space Invaders


3rd graders learned about mosaics, street art, grids, complementary colors, and pixels for our Space Invader project. I got this idea from Artsonia when I was student teaching and have since lost the exact link. (If you know the origins of this lesson, please share!)

We began by watching this video:

We talked about pixels and video games and students came to the conclusion that the person who made this video probably thinks that video games are destroying the world. New art forms met old when we compared artwork by street artist Invader to images of some old school mosaics. Students made a real-world connection when they noticed that both artworks reminded them of Mine Craft which is a super popular computer game.

We began by creating a grid using some prior knowledge of math and measuring. This was a pretty tricky process and required a lot of step-by-step instructions, differentiation, and peer cooperation. Students measured out inches on their 9×12 paper on all 4 sides and used the ruler to create straight lines. I had some students write the number next to each inch mark so they could match it up when they drew the lines.



The next step was to create a Space Invader design. Students used markers to outline their creatures and chose their complementary colors. With all of the squares, it could get kind of visually jumbled up so some students decided to write letters in the squares to show where they were going to glue what color.

I pre-cut construction paper into 1×1 inch squares and students could take what they needed from the trays and fill up little recycled yogurt cups.



These came out AWESOME!!! Most of the kids really loved this project and you could hear a pin drop when they measured out their lines. They used team work to help each other be successful and shared ideas and tips on construction and production.



004 (2)

006 (3)

003 (2)

005 (3)

006 (2)


005 (2)





013 012 011 017 016 015 014


001 (2)


041 (2)

That last picture is an image of the self-assessment rubric. I thought it would be interesting to see what grade the kiddos would give themselves and whether or not my opinion matches. (Please excuse the “Scale” that does not make any sense, I used the rubric from another lesson.)

Here is the awesome display hanging outside of the front office suite. I decided to add some key words and vocabulary to spruce it up.


When I did this lesson as a student teacher it was during the first 8 weeks of school and it was completely crazy. I am glad it went so well at the end of the year. Only one project remains to be completed for most of the grades. Next up for 3rd graders is weaving with yarn. 🙂

Author: artwithmsk

Hello! My name is Ms. Katzin and I am an art teacher at an elementary school near Atlanta, Georgia. Teaching art is my passion and I love what I do!

8 thoughts on “Space Invaders

  1. This is so intriguing! I love how you’ve combined so many subjects into one: Measurement, sorting, media awareness, art, art forms, grid art, and more! The monsters turned out beautifully–I absolutely adore them.

    • Thank you! Incorporating aspects from other disciplines makes art projects so much stronger and more meaningful. This activity was great and provided nice review and practice during testing week. These were such a hit 🙂

  2. These looks awesome! I never would have paired those words with the artwork, either. Interesting that the ‘weirdo’ comes from ‘weirdo planet’ and eats YOU. 🙂

    • Hahaha, thanks! The things they write about their work is always hilarious. That particular student put a lot of effort into coming up with something wacky and creative.

  3. I am most DEFINITELY doing this next year! I LOVE this Mollie!! 🙂

    -Ms. Gram

  4. Pingback: Art in Israel | Art With Ms. K

  5. Pingback: Space Invaders 2018 | Please Don't Eat the Artwork

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