Painting with Fingers on an Object: A Visual Art Lesson Plan for Students with Disabilities

Created by Kong Ho

According to teaching artist Kong Ho, “No matter how good an individual teaching artist or art educator is in his or her own personal art, it does not mean that he or she is good at teaching art; students with disabilities need modified lessons that nurture their own means of using their modes of expression.” Here, he offers a visual art lesson plan created for students with disabilities on painting with fingers on an object.

Unit Title: Painting with Fingers on an Object
Grade Level: 3–5 (ages 8–11)

1. Learning Outcomes

Established Goals:
Sense the found object and paint the object with fingers and water-soluble paints.

Students will sense the given object and different color paints with fingers.
Students will explore how to apply paint with fingers on different surfaces of an object.
Students will understand the form of an object, texture of paint, and painting surface.

Essential Questions:
Do students know that tactile feeling is an essential sensation?
Do they know fingers are useful tools for applying paint?
Do they understand form and texture through touching?

Students will learn how to sense an object or paints by touching it with fingers.
Students will understand that their fingers are useful painting tools.
Students will know the form of an object and paint texture through touching.


2. Assessment Evidence

Performance Tasks:
Complete one 3D painting on an object by using fingers as painting tools.

Other Evidence:
One 3D painting will reveal the understanding of following art elements: color, texture, form, and space.

Key Criteria:
Learn about color, texture, space, structure, paints, and tactile experiences.


3. Learning Plan

Summary of Learning Activities:
Students will be given an object, which can be a food can, cereal box, tree stick, or stone collected by the teaching artist. Then they will close their eyes to touch the given object and paints. They will select their most favorite color to paint the entire object with fingers. After they complete their task, then they can see how they have transformed the appearance of an object. Then they will share their unique tactile experience with the class and the instructor will explain the importance of the tactile experience in developing creative thinking and approaches in art making.


This lesson was designed to align with the following Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities:

9.1.3 A. Know and use the elements and principles of each art form to create works in the arts and humanities.
9.1.3 H. Handle materials, equipment, and tools safely at work and performance spaces – Identify materials used.
9.1.3 J. Know and use traditional and contemporary technologies for producing, performing, and exhibiting works in the arts or the works of others.



Kong Ho headshot

Kong Ho

Kong Ho is an Associate Professor of Art and program director of Art and Creative Technology at the University of Brunei Darussalam in Brunei. Ho is a teaching artist with a disability and he has published several journal articles, conference proceedings, monographs, and a forthcoming book, Larger Than Life: Mural Dreamscapes, about working and teaching community murals. For more information of Ho’s murals, paintings and digital art, please visit

One comment

  1. Pingback: Additional Resources from the Day of Learning: Working with Students with Disabilities – NYC AiE Roundtable

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