Grade Levels: K-3

These classroom activities are designed to complement the Vincent van Gogh topic on BrainPOP Jr.

A Starry Night
Together with the class, analyze Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. Then have students create their own version of the painting. Encourage them to analyze, explore, and experiment with the different brushstrokes that Van Gogh used in this painting. Remind students that Van Gogh used a mixture of blues to depict the starry night sky. Have students mix different shades to create their own paintings, then share their work and describe their techniques to the whole class.


Study several self-portraits by Van Gogh. How did he convey a feeling or mood in his self-portraits? What details help the paintings communicate a feeling? Have students create their own self-portraits and challenge them to evoke a mood or emotion through their art. You may want children to bring in photographs of themselves or small mirrors to help them in the project. Encourage students to draw a sketch of themselves and then use the sketch to paint, just as Van Gogh often did. Afterward, create a “class photo” by gathering the self-portraits together. See if students can determine which mood or emotion each self-portrait was intended to portray, and discuss the techniques children used to express themselves.