Art Therapy Lesson Plan Worksheet

What is the theory behind this Art Therapy Lesson Plan Worksheet?

Art Therapy uses the individual’s creative expression in the form of art as a non-threatening means of communication with their inner self. It can be used as a tool for analysing one’s innermost conflicts and as a therapeutic exercise to relieve disturbing emotions and feelings. Using Art therapy in schools is an effective way to help students deal with and manage the social, emotional and behavioural issues that are common to their age and circumstances.  

How will the worksheet help?

The worksheet will provide a lesson plan for conducting an art therapy session with students who are having trouble adjusting to the transition from middle school to high school. It will help explore their self-concept and their perceptions regarding this significant transition in their life which can be further probed in counselling sessions. 

How to use the worksheet?

The lesson plan in this worksheet can be a one off session for new high school students to start a healthy discussion on challenges of the transition.  It can also be a part of a structured group session specifically aimed at counselling students who are showing signs of emotional, and behavioural disturbances as a result of the change. 

Art Therapy Lesson Plan Worksheet

ActivityDrawing versions of yourself
AimExplore self concept, perceptions and any related feelings, emotions, thoughts associated with this change from middle school to high school
When to useIn a welcome session for new high schoolers to initiate discussions on challenges of this change and how to overcome itAs part of a more structured group art therapy session specifically targeting students who are showing emotional and behavioural signs of having difficulties in adjusting. 
MaterialsCard SheetsMarkersPensPencilsCrayonsPaint supplies
ProcedureInstruct the students to split their card sheet into two sections. Use one section to draw a self portrait of them in middle school. And the other section for drawing a self-portrait of them in high school.
Tell them to put their thoughts, worries and hopes about their future on paper. 
Tell them they can use whatever materials and type of art they want to express themselves through their self-portrait in these two significant times of their lives. 
Once completed, invite students to share the meaning behind their art. 
Seek common themes and make those a point of discussion. Talk about common struggles and the importance of learning to cope with them through coping strategies and building stronger support systems. 


Spier, E. (2010). Group Art Therapy With Eighth-Grade Students Transitioning to High School. Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 27(2), 75-83.

You can download this worksheet here.

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