“A Kid in King Arthur’s Court” 1st grade Book Lesson

IMG_0875 IMG_0876 IMG_0878“A Kid in King Arthur’s Court”

First Grade Art Lesson

This lesson introduces the legend of King Arthur and his Knights. My student’s neighborhood is themed with this legend and they live on streets like Holy Grail, King Arthur, Merlin, Queen Guinevere, etc.; however, this lesson could be adapted for any topic from sports to science.

 Essential Questions:

How do you communicate your ideas through your artwork?

What are the components of a successful book cover?

How do I create the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface?


Library books and resources depicting Medieval times and the legend of King Arthur

Video: https://youtu.be/4t0wnZBkDbE


Thin Sharpie



Hole punch




Diagonal line

Straight line






I begin by asking my first graders what they already know about the middle ages, King Arthur, Camelot? Reference my time line to show them how far back in time we are discussing. I then show the short trailer from the movie, “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.” I ask them to imagine themselves living in Medieval times. They are going to create a book cover (and have the option of writing a story, as well). I also ask them to take some time to research using the books I have gathered.

Each student begins with a pencil and piece of white cardstock. On the board, I draw a rectangle and they follow along with me. Draw a diagonal line from the top left corner, across the top right corner, and a the lower left corner. Then connect the ends of the lines to create the illusion of depth—the spine and pages. After checking their lines, they cut off the lower left triangle and upper right triangle. After discussing the components of a good book cover (image, title, author and illustrator’s name), they draw their cover with pencil. Then trace over the pencil lines with thin Sharpie. Students then watercolor the drawing. At this point, many students may choose to write a book. Pages at this level may include words and images or images alone. Assemble the book with the pages, a back cover, and brads.