Tag Archives: grade 3

Grade 3 Student

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-

Generaldistribute and collect materials; clean tables; take general responsibility

Paintmix tempera; understand crayon resist; use and take care of watercolors

Inkstamp with vegetables; make potato print s; do fingerprinting or brayer prints; make mono prints; use collagraph printmaking; stamp

Metal tooling foilemboss and stipple

Printing materials:glue cardboard, string, or found objects to a plate and make a print from it

Fiber artsweave or stitch with yarn

Colored pencil, oil pastellayer two or more colors

Papercut well with scissors; use joining methods; curl; bend; score, fold; make forms from paper (or origami, portrait heads)

Crayonscolor firmly for scratch-art

Papier machecover balloons; create facial mask forms

Paintapply 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

Brusheswash brushes; mix colors with the brush

Claycreate 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 Studiescommunities (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 Artswriting 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.

Mathamaticsmapmaking; geometric forms; symmetry; multiplication; division.
Have them identify lines of symmetry in shapes and in polygons.

Art Skills

Art Skills Curriculum for Grade 3

Developing Practical Knowledge In the Visual Arts
Students will explore elements and principles of the visual arts, using a variety of techniques, tools, materials, processes and procedures.
● Achieved practical knowledge
o  Developing practical knowledge



  • Holding paintbrushes correctly
  • Blending paints
  • Wiping and washing brushes between colour applications
  • Cutting and gluing
  • Application of paints
  • Inking and printing
  • Application of paper-mache
  • Manipulation of paints



  • Paintbrushes
  • Palettes
  • Scissors
  • Rulers
  • Hole punch
  • Stapler
  • Printing rollers
  • Photocopier


  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Watercolour paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Craft materials
  • Printing ink

      o Printing block

Processes and procedures

  • Drawing
  • Painting using acrylics/watercolours
  • Crayon and dye
  • Colour mixing and over-painting
  • Collage
  • Designing
  • Creating
  • Paper-mache

     o Printing

Architecture: Home Design

There had been a great deal of home building near our school, and I wondered what my students thought about the exterior and interior designs of these homes. Thus, I instructed my students to visualize and plan a one-story rambler or ranch home. The students had to decide whether the model would suit the purpose of a family or a single person. They had to create an atmosphere within each room: whether the room should “feel” cozy, dramatic, simple or complex. They used crayons, magic markers, tempera paint and cloth material. The exterior of the house was made from  18″ x 24″ (46 cm x 61 cm) sheet of oak tag, cut in two.

There were many discussions on the practical aspects of building a home. We discussed the practical reasons why, in the eastern zones, the gable roof rather than the flat roof has with stood the test of time. Many of the construction and design selections being considered by the students were placed on charts in front of the room.

Drawing: Leaf Piles

Purpose: To encourage students to combine color and textural effects with their drawings. Emphasis is on overlapping to create spatial effect of crowding, compression, etc.

Materials: 5″ x 7″ (13 cm x 18 cm) and 9″ x 12″ (23 cm x 30 cm) drawing paper,  Crayons □ Watercolors as tempera paint □ Assorted colors of fell-tipped markers □ Scissors

Process: Discuss idea of overlapping to achieve spatial effects. Show how artists combine media and techniques to achieve expressive images.

Place a big pile of freshly fallen leaves on a stool in the middle of the art room. Challenge students to draw two different types of leaves on a 5″ x 7″ (13 cm x 18 cm) piece of paper. Have them cut out the two different leaf shapes to use as patterns. Ask students to make their own piles of leaves on a 9″ x 12″ (23 cm x 30 cm) piece of white drawing paper, using the two patterns. Ensure that they overlap in order to build the paper leaves up into a pile.

After a leaf pile is built, direct students to make contour drawings of their unique layering’s. To achieve all the color, texture and shapes found in a real pile of leaves, instruct students to use crayons, paint and lines to enhance their composi­tions. Critique finished piles. Are leaves vigorously mixed? Do shapes, color and line textures contrast? Blend? Distinguish leaves?

Art History: The Ninja Turtles come to Art class

Every student in my art room could name the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael. Few knew about the artists who had those names first. Concerned that students would grow up thinking that Leonardo was a turtle, I found a way to tie in the Turtles’ popularity with art history.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were soon seen in our art room. Third grade students dressed as turtles, crawled from under their shells to tell about the Italian Renaissance artists with whom they shared a name. The students researched an artist, and prepared bulletin boards with exam­ples of art created by that artist.

Each Turtle had special definitions to teach the class.

Donatello taught about contrapposto, a method of sculpting a figure showing weight on one leg. Donatello was one of the first artists to make sculptures look realistic by using this technique.

Raphael informed the students a Madonna was a picture of the baby Jesus and his mother.

Leonardo explained that chiaroscuro is a technique of blending dark and tight used by da Vinci in paint­ings like the Mona Lisa.

Michelangelo described a Pieta as a sculpture or picture of the dead Christ on his mother’s lap.

The students created art cards with a self-portrait of the artist on one side and the turtle of the same name on the flip side. A time line made on the computer, showed when each artist lived and worked in Italy. Finally, a word search was created made up of important Renaissance terms.

Before they shed their shells, the turtles autographed artwork for the students. The success of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle art history lesson will be remembered.

Packing Tray Masks

Elementary art teachers are always on the lookout for junk to recycle and turn into works of art. Take-out coffee trays from a convenience store were the inspiration for this project.

We experimented with holding the trays in different positions and found that they could make great masks. We trimmed them up a little, and sure enough, eye sockets, a square nose, and a gruesome mouth appeared.

My students chose one color of tempera paint in which to complete the front of the mask. Then, they used small paintbrushes to add details around the eyes, nose, mouth, and outside rim.

Those students who were not going to use their masks for Halloween, added eyeballs in the sockets by using parts of egg cartons and taping them to the back of the mask. Teeth and tongues made from parts of the trays were added to the mouths. During the following week, some students added tissue paper streamers for hair so the wind could fly the streamers around for an even more mon­strous effect.

Design: Pattern Blocks

Purpose: To introduce students to the concept of a repeated pattern. Emphasis is on having students identify patterns in their environment.

Materials: Assorted colors of felt tip markers □ 3″ x 3″ (8 cm x 8 cm) squares of white construction paper or oak tag □ Rulers □ Pencils

Discuss what patterns are and have children identify those they can find In the art room. Look at works of art which illustrate repeated patterns.

On a 3″ x 3″ (8 cm x 8 cm) square, have students create a simple design. Remind them that their design will be repeated many times. Allow them to do line designs as well as designs in color.

After they select a favorite design block, have students make a graph with ruler and light pencil lines on 6″ x 18″(15cm x 45 cm) sheet of paper. Be sure that graph divides into 3″ x 3″ (8 cm x 8 cm) squares. Have them then repeat their original designs in staggered alternate blocks on their gridded paper. Emphasize craftsmanship and accuracy.

Talk about finished patterns. Are the design blocks consistent? Do they form a pattern? How? Are they carefully drawn and colored’ Contrasted?