The Third-Grade Child
Characteristics of Third Graders-
- Enthusiastic, open to new experiences and using new materials
- Anxious to please their peers, careful not to do anything too different from what the other students are doing
- Tend to separate themselves by gender outside the classroom, but work well in mixed group projects
- Interested in learning to draw realistically, frustrated at times when they are not able to appreciate that fantasy exists in the imagination and may be used in artwork
- Enjoy art museum visits and learning about the role of artists in society
What Third Graders can do with materials-
General: distribute and collect materials; clean tables; take general responsibility
Paint: mix tempera; understand crayon resist; use and take care of watercolors
Ink: stamp with vegetables; make potato print s; do fingerprinting or brayer prints; make mono prints; use collagraph printmaking; stamp
Metal tooling foil: emboss and stipple
Printing materials:glue cardboard, string, or found objects to a plate and make a print from it
Fiber arts: weave or stitch with yarn
Colored pencil, oil pastel: layer two or more colors
Paper: cut well with scissors; use joining methods; curl; bend; score, fold; make forms from paper (or origami, portrait heads)
Crayons: color firmly for scratch-art
Papier mache: cover balloons; create facial mask forms
Paint: apply watercolor or thinned tempera in even strokes to make a wash (as in a sky); use tempera to draw shape s and fill in evenly
Brushes: wash brushes; mix colors with the brush
Clay: create sculpture s; make coils or slabs; make pinch pots; apply glazes
Third Graders’ Understanding of Concepts-
- Use horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines, textures, colors, and sizes
- Comprehend foreground, middle ground, and background, and show these by use of middle ground, overlapping, size differences, and value differences
- Discriminate between warm and cool colors; identify how artists have used colors for expression
- Define symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial balance; identify columns, beams, domes, and arches, and analyze how a building is constructed; develop personal use of color and other element s effectively in two dimensional work
- Recognize and use real and invented texture
- Identify contrast in a variety of size and color
- Become aware of articulation of parts of the human figure
Suggestions for teaching Third Graders-
- Discuss proportions of the human form; have them draw their classmates in an action pose.
- Allow them to create a nonobjective work of art through the introduction of historical artworks.
- Teach them to see-teach: contour drawing of a hand and t he human form (blind contour drawing maybe a little beyond them) .
- Have students make a “community” assignment (family, teams, scouts, classroom, people who work together).
- Talk about how things work (buildings, machinery, transportation) – the why of form and function.
- Discuss hew some people feel one way about a work of art, and others have very different reactions, and why that is.
- State objectives when beginning, then help them evaluate halfway through whether they are meeting the objectives in their own work.
- Talk about works of art; compare and contrast two similar paintings from different cultures or time periods. Discuss subject, elements and principles, the theme of the artwork.
- Introduce sculpture in the round (both by showing existing artworks and demonstration).Help them realize that t hi s is not just two-dimensional (height and width) but also has depth, and will be looked at from all directions.
Third-Grade content connections-
Social Studies: communities (differences due to location and weather); ancient and foreign cultures; multicultural similarities and differences (any art project should relate to the history of the culture that worked in the same manner).
Have students identify artworks from cultures within the following areas: United States, Europe, and Africa. Students should compare masks from various cultures around the world (Native American, Italian, African). They can make a mask from tooling foil.
Have students make a “community” assignment (family, teams, scouts, classroom, people who work together).
Science:the solar system; electricity; magnetism; the environment; energy (light); rocks; how to classify animals: reptiles , birds, amphibian s, mammals; simple machines (inclined plane, balance).
Have students draw flowers, butterflies, trees, animals, shells, or plants either from life or reference photos. Stress that when using a photo reference, it is important to make changes in the background or the pose, otherwise it is simply copying.
Music: singing scale in accurate pitch; performing folk, patriotic, and spiritual music; recognizing rhythmic patterns ; identifying musical symbols; comparing music to painting; using terms common to both (rhythm, color).
Have students compare the art and the music of a particular culture or time period, and find similarities and differences.
Language Arts: writing about artwork; creating and illustrating stories.
Have students make or decorate a container of folded paper, clay, or papier mache, then write several sentences about how they made it.
Mathamatics: mapmaking; geometric forms; symmetry; multiplication; division.
Have them identify lines of symmetry in shapes and in polygons.