Oil Crayon Project Inspired by Cordelia of Usborne Books

Oil crayon Cordelia Uaborne Books elementary art lesson video

Researchers say the best way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print. We can’t control how many books our students have in their homes, but we can increase their exposure to print through the use of books as lesson motivation. Whether you are creating drawings, paintings, or oil crayon projects you can use books to inspire the artwork for the lesson.

Read alouds are probably one of the easiest ways we can encourage literacy in the art room. Especially as an elementary art teacher, it gives you endless opportunities to captivate your students with engaging illustrations. And at the same time demonstrating to your administration how you are supporting the core curriculum.

Read on for an oil crayon project that was inspired by a wonderful Usborne book called Cordelia.

Cordelia by Usborne Books

If you haven’t heard of Usborne Books and More then I think you are missing out. They are genuinely high-quality books with wonderful illustrations. 

One of the books from their holdings that caught my eye was Cordelia. The simple shape illustrations with block coloring screamed elementary art to me. I knew I could create a lesson inspired by the book, but better yet was the message of the story.

Cordelia can fly. She soars with the birds over the ocean. That is until she listens to the whispers of those who doubt her.

Cordelia learns to not worry about what others think and find joy in her self-belief. It really is a lovely story you will want to share with your impressionable students.

Cordelia by Usborne Books as oil crayon art lesson motiviation

Needed Materials


12″ x 18″ acid-free fadeless paper

Oil Crayons

18″ Ruler

Cordelia Oil Crayon Lesson Motivation

Using stories as the motivation for a lesson is a no brainer go-to. Reading to children not only exposes them to more print, but also exposes them to varied topics, it demonstrates proper cadence, and it expands on their joy of literature.

 If you don’t have a read-aloud in you, or you think your kids would enjoy something different, you may want to use a video of Cordelia author Michelle Nelson-Schmidt reading her story. 

Oil Crayon Cordelia Art Lesson

I created a video of my Cordelia art lesson for other teachers to use as motivational material. The video ended up a bit longer than I wished so when I uploaded it only the beginning remained.


I since had deleted the original files, so it is what it is.

At the least you can see my finished example and how I set up the lesson. You could even use it as a starter for motivation for the lesson. But I hope it is at the least helpful for you to get an idea for a new oil pastel lesson.

The Day the Crayons Quit Activities

Cordelia by Usborne Books and More is a great story of perseverance and self-value. I think you will enjoy using it as motivation for this oil crayon art lesson

If you are interested in how you can better incorporate literature in your art room check out this post on Teaching Literacy Through Art.

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Oil pastel or oil crayon elementary art lesson inspired by Cordelia from Usborne Books and More


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