A House that Once Was Art Lesson

This simple art lesson for K – 6 children is based on the wonderful picture book A House that Once Was by Julie Fogliano and Lane Smith. You can find a free literacy lesson plan, including a writing template and wordsearch, here. The art lesson is fun to do after reading the book.

This art lesson is all about the process of creating and about the experience the children have while they are creating an artwork.

Process Art is a contemporary artistic movement which is recognised within the world’s art communities. It refers to a way of approaching art in which the emphasis is on the process creation, rather than on the product. In other words, process art values the creative experience over the end result.

This approach is a winner with children because children learn more and have a deeper learning experience while creating if they are given the freedom to experiment.

So, with this activity, it’s best to give children as little direction as possible. Once you’ve read A House That Once Was, discussed the illustrations and perhaps done some writing about the story, provide the paint and equipment and let the children enjoy the process!


  • scissors
  • paints
  • packets of kitchen sponges (about one sponge for every two students)
  • plastic plates (or something else to put the paint on
  • art paper and black crayons or textas or a house template for each child

Note: the two templates below will soon be available to purchase here. One is suitable for older children and one for K – Year 1/2.

a house that once was art
a house that once was art
a house that once was art
a house that once was art lesson
a house that once was art
a house that once was art
a flamboyance of flamingos
my name is not refugee
bee & me
lest we forget
the peace book