In this MFA Playdates at Home, after reading the book Lines That Wiggle, we look at the artwork 715 Washington Street, Greenwich Village by Walter Augustus Simon, which is in the exhibition “Black Histories, Black Futures” and full of lines and shapes. Then we get step-by-step instructions on how to start a very special line journal using materials you have at home. A journal is a record of your thoughts and feelings. Journaling is a calming activity that can be done as a family.

Lines That Wiggle (Blue Apple Books, 2009), by Candace Whitman and illustrated by Steve Wilson, is available for purchase at a variety of booksellers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is read with permission from the publisher.

Make a Line Journal

All shapes on notebook page are fully colored in


You will need:

  • A notebook. It works best to use an old notebook that you've written or drawn in already.
  • Any writing or coloring materials, such as pens, pencils, and markers.

Step 1

Blue, criss-crossing, wiggly lines drawn on page in notebook with blue marker
Gather your materials. Start by drawing some lines that crisscross or overlap, inspired by shapes you see in your neighborhood. They can be squiggly lines, curvy lines, zig-zag lines, shapes, or a mix—whatever you like!

Step 2

A few shapes formed by criss-crossing blue lines are filled in with blue marker
Start coloring in some of the shapes you created with the lines.

Step 3

Other shapes formed by criss-crossing blue lines are filled in using markers of other colors
Use different colors to fill in the rest of the shapes. Think about the colors you see when you walk around in your neighborhood.

Step 4

All shapes on notebook page are fully colored in
Keep filling in shapes until the whole page is filled with beautiful colors. Try not to leave any space blank! You can keep making new drawings on different pages of your journal.

Art Activity Instructions

Download and print out the instructions to follow along at home.