Art on a Budget


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How does keeping track of money when creating an art piece alter your ideas? How can you use different coins to pay for items?

Lesson Process:

Step 1:  Provide direct instruction/review of money values and making change.

Step 2: Look at various artworks that have sold for varying amounts of money – large and small. Ask students to look at the artwork like an art investor, a homeowner, or a museum curator and ask what they would pay for each piece of artwork based on their assigned role.

Step 3:  Then, create a piece of artwork with a specific BUYER in mind.

Step 4:  Pitch the completed piece to the “buyers” in the classroom.

Step 5:  Buyers each have a certain amount of money from their organizations to spend. Pick a piece or pieces based on the perceived value and how much money they have to spend.

Time Required:
(2) 40 minutes Art Classes

Materials List:

  • Play money (can be paper)
  • Dollar bills
  • Quarters
  • Dimes
  • Nickels
  • Pennies
  • Menu (how much each art element cost)
  • Rubric indicating artwork criteria



Students will pair reviewing before meeting with the bank.