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Tag Archives: 3rd Grade

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Third grade studies skeletons in science, so this year I asked our PTO to purchase a skeleton for the art room. They said yes and it was delivered this winter. The skeleton sat in a box for a few weeks because I didn’t have the space or time to open it up, but it was fun having the kids guess what was inside. ūüôā

First, I taught students about cropping and they created a few thumbnail sketches to choose a composition they were interested in studying. When I originally thought of using the skeleton with third grade, I thought students would draw the entire skeleton, but once it was assembled, I realized that would be too much for them, so I told them to “zoom in” on a part of the skeleton that they thought was interesting. I demoed this on the white board and once I thought students understood what might make an interesting composition, they began sketching. I reminded students that the sketch did not have to have every single detail–it should just give an idea of what part they wanted to focus on and the general shapes they saw.

Once students chose a final composition, they drew a final version onto larger paper.

Then I talked about shading and students began shading their drawings. I told them that they must include at least three different values.

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WOW! I was TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY by what students created. While this type of observation drawing was a little hard for some students, most of them ran away with it! They were generally interested in observing the bones and trying to draw them accurately.

In the future, I think I might do this drawing assignment in the fall with older kids closer to Halloween and maybe do a slightly different version with younger students.

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For this lesson, Ms. Nemes taught students about the game Exquisite Corpse. After showing students a few examples of this drawing game, students created their own Exquisite Monsters by drawing the head of their creature and then switching papers to draw the body and the bottom (legs, tail, tentacles, etc.).

IMG_6146On the second day, students were allowed to edit their drawing by making minor changes like adding texture, drawing extra arms, or changing the feet of their monster.

 

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After drawing with pencil, students colored their monster and then created a background using their choice of materials.

As part of a fall drawing unit, I want to share three drawing prompts I use with 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders.¬†I love teaching these lessons in the beginning of the year! It’s a great way to build students’ drawing skills, practice routines and build students’ drawing skills from year to year.

 

 

1st Grade Apples Drawings: I put one fake apple on each table before students arrive. On the first day, I walk through a few steps of how students might approach the drawing and give them a few tips along the way (like sketching lightly before pressing harder). After drawing for about 5-10 minutes, I do another short demo explaining how to blend colors. Then students have the rest of class and another two classes to finish their drawing.

 

 

2nd Grade Pumpkin Drawings: This lesson is similar to the first grade lesson. Before students arrive, I put one mini pumpkin on each table. On the first day, I walk through a few steps of how students might approach the drawing and give them a few tips along the way (sketch lightly before pressing harder). After drawing for about 5-10 minutes, I do another short demo explaining how to blend colors. Then students have another two classes to finish drawing their pumpkin and creating a background from observation or memory. This lesson usually falls around Halloween, and students love adding spider webs, ghosts, vampires, and other Halloween-themed ideas to their picture.

 

 

 

 

 

3rd Grade Leaf Drawings: Third graders have been talking about how scientists and artists are similar. For this unit, students chose a colorful autumn leaf to observe carefully. Students made sketches of their leaf and labeled it with observations and questions they had. After reading the book My Name is Georgia¬†and learning about how Georgia O’Keeffe made paintings large, so that¬†viewers, “[would] be surprised into taking time to look at it,” students enlarged their scientific sketch onto a new piece of paper. Ms. Nemes taught students how to blend colors using colored pencils or mix colors using watercolors. Then, students colored or painted their drawing and created a background to unify their image.

Students finished creating a name design for their folder. I laminated each one and then attached it to the front of the folder and labeled the top right corner with a colored piece of tape (to show what table they sit at) and their class.

I give each table a folder of idea pages of different fonts to use as they work.

 

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This year, I’m introducing ATCs to 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders. I’m starting the year by giving students a couple of assignments. My hope is that these assignments will encourage¬†them experiment more throughout the year and make cards that are more thoughtful and “complete” when they are given choice¬†time.

2nd Graders: Oops! Card

For this lesson, I read the book¬†Beautiful Oops!, by Barney Saltzberg. I talked with students about what choices an artist has when he/she makes a “mistake.” Next, I showed students a few Daily Monster videos and challenged them to turn an “oops” into something new… something scary, or friendly, or beautiful, or funny, or… just about anything they could think of! Students¬†started by transforming their oops with pencil and tracing with Sharpie. Then, they added a background and colored in their ATC.

3rd Graders: Sky Color

For this lesson, I read the book¬†Sky Color, by Peter Reynolds. We discussed that the sky is not always blue and then I demonstrated a few watercolor techniques… painting wet on wet, wax/oil watercolor resist, sprinkling salt, and blotting with a sponge brush, q-tip, paper towel, or bubble wrap. Then students set to work creating an ATC of a type of weather or time of day.

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4th Graders: Abstract Dot Composition

For this lesson, I read the book¬†The Dot, by Peter Reynolds and discussed how students might “make their mark.” After showing abstract spot and dot artworks by Wassily Kandinsky and Yayoi Kusama,¬†students were challenged to create an abstract composition made entirely of dots. Students could choose to use Sharpies, markers, crayons, watercolors, or a combination¬†of materials. **For this lesson, I also showed examples of this lesson from Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists.

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I teach a “Not-a-Box” project to my 2nd graders, so I was super excited when one of my colleagues shared this “Not-a-Stick” lesson, inspired by the book¬†Not a Stick, by¬†Antoinette Portis. This lesson is fun, engaging and students come up with a huge variety of creative solutions. Also it only takes about 2-3 classes. Stay tuned for some finished samples!

 

My first day assignment is pretty simple, but I love it because it helps me learn (and remember) students’ names, which is crucial¬†for building relationships.

The lesson also gives me a general idea of my students’ drawing skills and creativity. With my K students, I wrote their name in block letters ahead of time and they colored them in. As students get older, I add more challenges–1st graders learn to write their own name in block or bubble letters, 2nd graders “make it artistic”, and 3rd and 4th graders are encouraged to design their own font and include an image of something they like.

For their first collage projects, 2nd and 3rd graders focused on choosing colors, cutting shapes, and using glue sticks.¬†I started both lessons by defining¬†complementary colors. After they could identify the 3 pairs of complementary colors, I showed them how to cut and arrange their shapes. The second graders were challenged to draw and cut seven different shapes (to match their age) from a 2.25″x3″ piece of paper and then flip and glue them onto a 4.5″x6″ piece of paper. The third graders were challenged to fold and cut positive and negative shapes and then arrange and glue them onto a 4.5″x9″ piece of paper to create a balanced design.