Kindergarten students were each assigned a random letter of the alphabet (I actually have about 30 students per class, so we were able to do every letter of the alphabet, plus a few extra!) They drew it with pencil as large as they could. Then, they added structures and details to turn it into a playground. To make their lines POP, they traced them with Sharpie. To finish, the students colored the playgrounds with oil pastels in primary colors. They were encouraged to mix the primaries to see what they could make. I love the simple compositions. Kinder did a fantastic job with this unit!
The week I began this lesson with kinder, I also began a related unit (unexpectedly) with second grade. I needed to leave sub plans, but didn't feel like using the same ones I usually do. I had leftover paper and black lines from the Piet Mondrian unit, and had just thoroughly enjoyed teaching the playground lesson to kinder. So, I came up with this lesson, which now has expanded into a two-day unit that I implemented with all my second grade classes.
Instead of having the students draw everything out first, I had them collage black paper lines to make one of the initials belonging to their first, middle, or last name. Then, they transformed it into a playground structure by adding more lines and drawing details with Sharpie. This was a little more challenging than the kinder unit, so it fit nicely with second grade. Last, I allowed the students to color their collages any way they wanted with oil pastels.