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6-8: Artful Boomerangs

by Susan Wittig, Learn NC

Students will review three different types of boomerang shapes, use stencils to draw and cut out these, shapes and use various art materials and mediums to design their surfaces.

A lesson plan for Grade 6 Visual Arts Education

Students will:

1. Gain knowledge of boomerang shapes while engagong in decision making (cognitive critical thinking) as to how they will design their boomerangs up to the finished designed project.

2. Briefly review boomerangs: their history, their art forms, how they were used then and now and different boomerang shapes. The three basic types of boomerangs covered and used are: Underhand Triskelian, Kangarang or Kangaroo, and Easy Boomerang.

3. Collect and schematically arrange various pictures from magazines, use personal photographs, stamps and other paper materials.

4. Engage in collage making activities in order to decorate their boomerangs.

5. Critique their finished projects.

Time required for lesson: 5 days


Students will work in the art room on tables that are large enough to spread out their art materials.

The teacher will provide the 3 pre-made templet/stencil boomerang outline forms and some of the foundation hardware material.

The following materials will be selectively needed upon choices that each student makes. Note that not every student will use the same materials in this listing.

  • -X-acto knife/scissors/tweezers
  • -pencil and white paper
  • -magazines
  • -tissue paper
  • -construction colored paper/colored foil
  • -found objects from nature
  • -personal photographs from photo albums
  • -postage stamps from old stamp collection
  • -glue/paste that dries clear
  • -paper towels
  • -soft/lightweight/thin wood sheet such asbalsa/balsm wood, plywood or very soft pine
  • -plexaglass plastic (optional)
  • -metal tin foil
  • -stiff leather piece approx. 15 inch square
  • -2 Types of Paint: oil-based (model) or water-based (acrylic)
  • -water or paint thinner (oil-based)
  • -various sizes of art paint brushes
  • -fine grain sandpaper (320-400 grade)
  • -one can of clear polyurethane varnish
  • -four or five 1" or 2" varnish brushes
  • -string and wire (if making a mobile)
  • -roll or sheets of inexpensive, white, non-print paper (if available)
  • -books and articles about boomerangs

Technology resources

Students will go to the Media Center/Library for resource books and articles about boomerangs and their history.

The use of a color monitor with access to the Internet with computer availability. Thus several boomerang websites can be researched. (*see Relevant Web Sites)


Prior to starting this art project, the students may research information about boomerang designs, motifs, and their history either in books, articles, magazines, or the use of computer websites.

Students will bring to class several small photographs of their choice from home. These can be black and white or colored photographs.

Students will bring old stamps from their stamp collection from home. Students may go to the post office to purchase past postage designs. (Assortments packets are rather inexpensive).

The teacher will provide 3 boomerang templet/stencils that are already pre-made to class. (1.Easy Boomerang 2.Underhand Triskelian Boomerang 3.Kanarang /Kangaroo Boomerang) *See pictures of these outline designs.

The teacher will also provide any other needed materials, except for special personal collective materials, in order for students to produce this art project. Students may bring any special materials from home that is not on the list (ie objects from nature).

The teacher or student will provide approximately 15″ × 15″ sheets of hardware materials from which the boomerang templets/ stencils forms are made from. This can vary from project to project and are listed above. Students may bring any additional needed materials that is not necessarily listed in order to complete this project. For example, a boomerang that is to be made out of rubber pads or linoleum tile.


Day 1: – A short discussion about boomerangs motifs, legends, and their history will be covered. Discuss how boomerangs were used long ago and how they are used today. The teacher will discuss several artful boomerang design options and any limitations in making these projects. Students will discuss and plan what kind of boomerang art projects they will make, how they plan to display them, and how they will go about starting. Students will sketch out their ideas on paper prior to starting. On this paper the sudents will mention what tools they will need and all materials needed in making their artful boomerang project. Students will choose one of three template/stencils that are available and begin to trace and cut out their chosen boomerang form. The design idea will determine what kind of hardware the template will be traced on. They will start out with a 15″ × 15″ square sheet of the following hardware materials. This can include a thick, sturdy layer of cardboard, thin-lightweight plywood, balsa/balsm wood, thin pine wood, plexiglass/plastic sheet or a sturdy layer of metal/tin foil.

Day 2: – Art table tops will be covered with cheap white paper for easy clean up. Students will have brought all collectable items from home to class by this day. Students will carefully group and organize their art materials, needed art tools, and collectibles at their working locations. Following their original planned ideas from paper, students will arrange or layout, cut and paste/glue their art materials directly down onto their bommerang forms. Students will use appropriate glues for appropriate surfaces.

Day 3: – Students will continue to work on their artful boomerang projects. Both sides of the boomerang will be decorated with art materials of their choice. The teacher will answer any questions and help give any suggestions the students might need to know throughout the entire duration.

Day 4: – Students will finish attaching their art materials and objects to their boomerang forms. During the last workable step, students will apply a thick coat of polyurethane varnish onto the top surface layer with a 1" or 2" varnish brush. Students may have to share brushes in finishing their boomerang projects. After the varnish is applied, the projects will need to dry at least overnight before handling. If a handbuilt stand rather than a ready made stand is needed, the student can begin making that area of the project for final display.

Day 5: – As a group, students will evaluate and critique their own art projects. They will discuss why they made the choices they did in designing their art projects. What kind of environmental and personal statement or meaning did each project represent for them and the viewer. Would they do anything differently to their projects if they had to start all over again? If so, what transformation would take place? Students will mention any problems or difficulties they may have encounted during the making of their artful boomerang project.


Assess how well students:

  • -created an original finished art piece while using their visual perception, visual self-expression, personal judgement, creative thinking, verbal expression, visual spacial intelligence, reflective thinking, critical thinking and problem solving processes.
  • -listened and followed detailed instructions.
  • -were able to find, gather, sort and present information through research.
  • -worked as a team or by themselves without any difficulty.
  • -communicated both verbally and nonverbally their artistic self-expression.
  • -willingly and successfully participated in group discussions during critique sessions.
  • -corrected any mistakes and made improvements during problem solving art issues. For example if the composition needed to be altered to be improved, the student would willing make positive changes toward that goal.
  • -identified and used all the basic art elements that go into a compositional art piece successfully.

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