Some kids have difficulty creating art work using the same art tools as their peers due to physical or other challenges. By using adapted art tools that are larger, easier to grip and have adjustable features, this lesson present various ways for all students to create an artwork that appears to look as if parts are viewed through a microscope. This lesson is for grades 3-12.

Lesson plan by Susan Loesl. 


  • Students will create lines that appear to become enlarged as if looking through a mircroscope
  • Students will experiment with analogous and complementary color schemes
  • Students will use adapted art tools to create their artwork

Materials Needed

  • 053943 – Sax Sulphite Drawing Paper, 80 lb, 9 x 12 inches, Extra-White, pack of 500
  • 1495167 – Maped Color’Peps Jumbo Triangular Colored Pencils, Assorted, set of 12
  • 1588286 – Maped Color’Peps Triangular Watercolor Pencils, set of 24
  • 1401982 – Helix Engineer Metric Triangular Ruler
  • 1495157 – Maped Color’Peps Ultra-Washable Broad Tip Markers, set of 12
  • 1588288 – Maped Color’Peps Washable Fine Tip Markers & Jungle Innovation Marker Stand, set of 12
  • 1359308 – Maped Koopy Spring-Assisted Special Needs Scissor, 5″ Blunt (Right Handers Only), Assorted colors, set of 12
  • 1599006 – Maped Koopy Spring-Assisted Educational Scissors, 5″ Blunt (Right & Left Handers), Assorted colors
  • 402428 – Royal Brush Aqua-Flo Nylon Hair Watercolor Paint Crush Set, Assorted Size, set of 3
  • 1463823 – Elmer’s Early Learners Non-Toxic Glue Stick, .77 oz, pack of 12
  • 1439766 – Tru-Ray Sulphite Construction Paper, 12 x 18 inches, Assorted Colors
  • 1301314 – Helix Angle and Circle Maker
  • 1569712 – Maped Tonic 2 Hole Metal Pencil Sharpener with Large Shatter-Resistant Canister (Assorted Red, Blue, Green), set of 18


  1. Tape the 9 x 12 white drawing paper to the work surface.
  2. Use large triangle shaped colored pencils and the Helix Angle & Circle Maker to draw 3 different sized circles from 2″-3 1/2″ on a piece of 9 x 12 white drawing paper. Space out the circles on the paper.
  3. Choose a set of analogous colors (example: green, blue, purple) in the Grip Watercolored Pencil Sets. These pencils will draw thin and thick lines. The pencil sharpener will help keep lines very thin so that there are 3 potential thicknesses of colored pencils – very thin, thin, and thick as the pencils are used.
  4. Starting at the edge of the paper, either vertically or horizontally, use the triangular shaped ruler to draw straight lines across the paper, drawing through the circles.  Lines can be close together or father apart, changing out the analogous colors and the Watercolor and Large colored pencils at will. Multiple lines of one color can follow single lines of color, creating patters and repeated colors. Three to five mixed colors, large and colored pencils can also be bundled together with a rubber band and pulled along the edge of the ruler to reduce fatigue in creating multiple lines.
  5. This part is finished when the entire piece of white paper is completely lined with analogous colors of regular and watercolored pencils.
  6. Fill the Auqa-Flo brush, brush the water only over the circles that were drawn. Because the watercolored pencils were used to draw the lines in the circles, the water will activate the watercolor part and blend the colors.
  7. While the paper is still wet, choose the same analogous color scheme from the think and thick markers and add more lines to the circles. The Fine Tip Marker Stand will help keep the thin markers accessible for making the color choices. These new lines will spread with the water and create the effect of an enlarged area of the drawing. Add more water if the markers don’t spread out a bit. Let dry.
  8. When dry, use the adapted scissors to cut the design into 5-7 pieces, using the drawn lines and circles as guidelines. Pieces can be of various sizes and shapes, but ideally, plan to use the entire drawing for the pieces, cutting the pieces into various sizes.
  9. Choose a complementary color of construction paper as the bordering paper of all the pieces.
  10. Using the triangle shaped glue stick, glue the cut pieces onto the complementary colored construction paper, leaving about an inch of space between the pieces.
  11. Cut a small border of about a half inch around each piece. It may help to cut the border paper into smaller pieces before cutting all the form from the border paper. (The borders do not have to be even all around the pieces).
  12. When the pieces are cut out, lay them on another piece of construction paper, this time, back to the analogous color scheme. Move the various pieces by turning the designs perpendicular to each other, on angles to each other, including overlapping the pieces to create a new design with these bordered pieces.
  13. When a pleasing design is achieved, use the triangle glue stick to glue the pieces onto complementary construction paper.