Optical Illusion Art (OP Art) & an Intro to Line

Optical Illusion Art (OP Art) & an Intro to Line

This can be used by 6th through 10th grade students.

Includes: PDF, 4 Handouts (template, examples, practice), 15+ Step Prezi, Lesson Plan, Rubric, 9+ Student Examples

This lesson is meant to act as an introduction to one of the most important elements of art, line and to some OP Art artist who use it well (Bridget Riley & Victor Vaserely). This lesson is for students in 6-8th grades. It takes approximately 1 day to present, 1 day finish the warm-up/practice worksheet, and 2 days to complete the final project. That’s a total time of four days. Two handouts are included with step by-step instructions for making OP Art designs. The simpler pattern is available while the more advanced one offers detailed instructions. You can choose which of these two options best suits your students’ needs.

The lesson can be fun because it demonstrates how powerful lines can be. By adding more lines, your patterns will become more complicated and create optical illusion art. It also serves as an introduction into 3D work. The cubes can then be displayed above a black light, creating quite an impressive installation.

Prezi presentations are a common feature in almost all my lessons. I find it to be a more engaging and efficient way of presenting new information to students. You can see how boring PowerPoint slides become when they are used repeatedly in classes to show new lessons. Students start to lose interest after the fourth or fifth slide. You can find out more about prezi by doing a quick Google search.

The lesson for fifth-6th graders:

The “easier handout contains examples and steps that students can follow.

The cubes can be left black-and-white or you could use just pencils. It all depends on the supplies available. You can reduce the duration of your project by doing this.

For less detail, have students use regular-tipped Sharpie markers


You can use the handout that is “harder”, which contains examples of more intricate ops art patterns.

Students should use sharpie “fine point”, or serif markers to create op art with finer details.

Below is a breakdown of all the resources I included in this lesson.

The lesson plan includes the following: A list of materials and a description of how long it should take for the lesson to be taught. The lesson includes information on IEPs, how to adapt this lesson for students and the steps you should take.

Prezi Presentation – A link is located at the bottom of the lesson plan to the prezi presentation I created for this lesson. To present the lesson you’ll need internet access or the option to download the file to use offline. Ask me how. Prezi provides information about the five elements of art: Victor Vaserely and Bridget Riley. It also includes great examples of optical illusion artwork that students really love to look at and figure out why.

Rubric- Each lesson begins with a rubric. This helps students know what to expect and how it will affect their grades. You can adapt this lesson for advanced students by following the steps above. This rubric takes half of a sheet and is only front-and-back. It also includes a reflective section at the bottom for students to complete. The rubric should be returned with the completed project.

Handout (easy & hard)- This handout is a quick and easy to understand reference for student to use if they forget what steps to take when creating an op art pattern, it solves the issue of commonly asked questions at the beginning of a lesson. This one is simple and contains only a handful of examples. The other contains more intricate patterns with more steps.

The Practice Worksheet- A worksheet that includes 6 blank cubes. Students can use this sheet to be imaginative and come up with their own ideas. They also have the opportunity to practice some patterns from their handout. Students will be able to see what their preferences are and create the cubes that they enjoy before creating them.

Final Cube Template – You can print this template as a template to have your students draw and create their final cubes, or you can print it out and let them trace the template. Use thick paper for easier assembly.

A folder contains nine student examples. These range in level from novice to expert. They are great to share with students to help them see the possibilities. The more advanced projects can be used as examples of common mistakes or things to avoid.

* ALL documents except for the handouts and cube template are in word doc. You can modify and edit them to your satisfaction.



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