In Your Classroom

Are you a classroom teacher, community group leader, or out-of-school educator? Encourage your children & youth in your community to create their own unique artistic response using our teaching kit.

Anyone can use this kit to help a group of young people create art for your own "Belonging" project. While this activity would work best in an art class, it’s suitable for any classroom or afterschool setting.

Consider using this as an activity in a civics, social studies, or English Language Arts class to build empathy and talk about how communities grow and change. Use it in a foreign language classroom and discuss how you might express the idea of “belonging” in other languages – and how visual art can help bridge gaps across languages and cultures. You can also use this in an afterschool setting with students of mixed ages.

Materials List

Paper: you can print out a copy of the Belonging template on 8 ½” x 11” sheets of paper. Or, you can use higher-quality, artist-grade paper. Just make sure your design fits inside a square!

Art-making supplies: Pencils, Pens, Crayons, Markers, Colored Pencils, Pastels, Paint, Chalk, or digital design tools.

Time & Space

This activity should take between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on how much time you have with your students. If you have more time, give students more time to work on their artwork.

Any room where students can spread out will work for this activity. If you use messy art-making materials like paint, be sure that your space can be easily cleaned up at the end of the session.

Displaying Artwork

When your event is over, you can choose to scan artwork and display it on a photo sharing website (like Flickr) or display the images in a gallery on social media (like Instagram or Facebook).

You could also choose to create a gallery wall in your school, classroom, or other public space. Consider working with a team of students to develop some explanatory text for the gallery: What do the students feel this artwork represents? What does it mean to say that we all belong? What other information or resources might students want to share on this subject?

Lesson Plan

Introduction (5–10 minutes)

First, ask your students a broad question to set context for the activity. “What would a piece of art look like that would let people know that they belong?”

If they need additional prompts, ask them what “belonging” means to them and help them talk through how you might illustrate those ideas visually.

Then, spend 5-10 minutes asking students to volunteer their ideas.

Think, Pair, Share (5–10 minutes)

Now, have kids dive more deeply into discussing the idea of “belonging.” Ask students to think silently for one minute about these questions: How do you know that you belong? How do you let your neighbors know that they belong and that they should feel welcome?

Then, invite students to pair up with a person next to them or to work in a group of three and to share what they think. Let groups discuss for about 5 minutes.

Finally, ask any groups who wish to share their conversation to share it with the whole group.

Describe the Art Project (5 minutes)

Now, tell students how the art will be displayed. Make sure you explain where it will appear (whether it's in person or online) and who will be able to see it.

Art-Making Activity (15–60 minutes)

Distribute art-making materials and paper.

Circulate through the room periodically to monitor students’ progress. Encourage any students who get stuck by asking them to think about or talk through the “Think, Pair, Share” prompts.

Clean Up & Wrap Up (last 10 minutes)

When you have ten minutes remaining: Invite students to clean up. Have them clean up their space and return art-making supplies to their proper places.

With the last five minutes: Ask students what they created. What did they think about as they worked? Ask students to consider how different people responded to the prompt. What kinds of themes did students think about as they worked? Did thinking about this project change how they think about what it means to “belong”?

Collect all student artwork. Let students know next steps, like ways to help display the artwork (like hanging it on the wall or uploading it online) or ways to help spread the word about what they created.


Download a template

This PDF includes a materials list and lesson plan for hosting your own session to help kids and adults create their own artistic responses about what it means to belong.

Download Kit

Take Action

To download the artwork to display it digitally or in your home, visit Belonging In Your Home.

To learn more about how to develop your own community art response like Belonging, visit Belonging In Your Community.


About The Sprout Fund

The Sprout Fund is Pittsburgh’s leading agency supporting innovative ideas, catalyzing community change, and making the region a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Sprout has worked with regional and national philanthropic partners to build strong networks and make hundreds of community-decided investments in early-stage projects, organizations, innovators, and activities.

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