Grade Level

5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12


7 periods, 45 minutes in length


Collect objects that are discarded. You can ask students, parents, and other teachers to bring in objects appropriate to the scale you wish to work.
cardboard, scissors, utility knives, hot glue, wood glue, glue, tape, spray paint, paint, paintbrushes, found objects, rulers


Painting, Recycled and Found objects

Lesson Objectives

The student will…
learn about sculpture artist, Louise Nevelson and her work.
become familiar with the assemblage sculptures.
think about recycled materials as an art media.
create assemblage sculptures of their own.

Introductory Activity

Introduce Lois Nevelson to your students (see resources below). Have them look at and talk about her work. Discuss what makes an abstract composition of shapes successful.
In anticipation of this lesson, begin to collect boxes of all sizes and find unneeded or unwanted objects. This could include old small toys, keys, clothes pins, bottles, dried up pens, shells, sewing spools, etc.

Lesson Process

Glue found objects, cardboard, scraps and recycled objects to inside of a box. The box will essentially frame and hold the objects. The box could be a shirt box, jewelry box, tins, plastic to go food box, a cut down shipping box, etc. The size of the cardboard is up to the teacher to determine. In the example I provided, this was an advanced placement student who used a wood palette as her base. A teacher will need to consider space to store the materials and sculptures. Students and teachers may consider building individual pieces or parts to be assembled into a collaborative class sculpture to display. After the glue is dry, students or teacher can spray paint the objects outside. You want to use just one color as Louis Nevelson’s pieces were always monochromatic to emphasize the object’s shapes and forms.


found objects, assemblage, monochromatic, forms, shape, composition


Louise Nevelson: The Artist and the Legend
Louise Nevelson – Artist – MacDowell
Artnexus Louise Nevelson

Author & Website/Blog

Supporting Images