Third Grade Art Kits - Descriptions 

a year ago

Ainu Symmetry

Students are given the opportunity to learn about the Ainu culture and find commonalities and differences between the Ainu and our local Northwest Coast Native cultures. In this activity students learn to cut folded paper and spirals to create a symmetrical Ainu style design, with one or two lines of symmetry.

symmetrical artwork of Ainu design

Alaskan Animals and Franz Marc

Students study the animal paintings of Franz Marc, a German painter. They look for simple shapes in the animals that he painted, and also in the Alaskan animals that they will draw. Each student makes one animal pattern and traces it to make a group of animals. They design their art using overlapping animals and warm, cool and neutral colors schemes.

drawing of fish jumping

Arctic Circle Prints

Students are inspired by prints made by Northern Canadian artists living in the arctic community of Cape Dorset. Students draw an arctic animal  in the Cape Dorset style and transfer it to a styrofoam “printing plate,” color the plate with markers, and make several prints by pressing the colored plate on dampened paper.

circle artwork with whale

Battles of Sitka

With the publishing of a new book, Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká / Russians in Tlingit America, the stories of the 1802 and 1804 “Battles of Sitka” between the Tlingit and the Russian fur traders are told from both the Russian and Tlingit perspective. Students are presented with this history so that they may begin to understand the complexities of life in Southeast Alaska.   

Students are given information about Tlingit warriors and armor. They make their own 3-D model of a helmet to help inspire them to work towards characteristics taught to young warriors in the past, such as “Reach for the hand of your fellow man and pick him up.”

photo of student-created cardboard helmets

Bionic Bugs

Students learn about the amazing technology developing around live insects with computer chips placed on them. They create their own cyborg insect, in 3-dimensional paper collage, complete with a computer chip illustrated with “micro art.” 

three dimensional paper bug collage

Brushstroke Trees: Huna Tribal House

Students watch a brief video of the art specialist “painting” the story of the Huna Tribal House and history in Glacier Bay.  They practice different brushstrokes with watercolor, then paint a picture of a Southeast Alaska tree, connecting their tree to the story and the Tlingit value of showing appreciation of the land and resources. 

three paintings of trees

Building Relationships with 3-D Alaskan Animals

Day 1: Students make 3-D Alaskan animals out of tag board.

 Day 2:  Each table group creates a 3-D environment and arranges their animals in a realistic scene, thinking about animal relationships in the wild.  Students also learn about perspective: foreground, middle ground and background. They conclude by making a small scene of their own.

cardboard animal sculptures

Building with Texture

Students explore and discuss different textures as they look at shelters built around the world with resources available in different areas. Students create a  texture collage about shelter or “forts” on a piece of construction paper with various materials such as sandpaper.

collage of a building using sandpaper and cardboard

Celebrating the Elements

Students discuss art made by the famous American Pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein. They look for the elements of art, using the art vocabulary, Then they use these elements to develop a drawing/painting/collage.

painting of abstract shapes

Chilkat Robe; Fringe Around the Body

Students study different design styles of Chilkat robes and learn about the materials used to weave these robes. They then assemble a paper puzzle robe, piece by piece using a pattern board as a guide, just as weavers have done for centuries.

photo of a face on a Chilkat Robe

Clay Figures-Art in Public Places

After hearing the story of Leonardo da Vinci’s giant horse sculpture, students will imagine the role of an artist creating a sculpture for a public place, like a park, school or airport.  They will learn techniques for hand-building with clay and make a small model of a sculpture they would like to make for the community. 

photos of two little clay sculptures, a cat and a person

Clay Pots with Maria Martinez

Students learn about pueblo potter, Maria Martinez.  Students make a “pinch pot” and add “coils,” learning proper techniques.  Students design a “motif” which represents something from our natural environment and paint it on the pot in a repeating pattern with underglaze. Pots are fired by teacher in a kiln, or with assistance from the art specialist.

photo of two clay pots

Deep Space

Students learn how to use a light source to create  a sphere from a circle. Students create planets using oil pastels and learn a blending technique to give the impression of form. By arranging the planets and accenting the composition with stars and shooting stars, the finished product creates the illusion of Deep Space.

oil pastel drawing of planets

Dog Mushing: Printing and Sprinting

Students learn about the different distances of dog mushing races in the Arctic Winter Games and compare and contrast them with the longer distance races of interior Alaska. Students design an abstract printmaking plate with a sprinting dog team and athlete. They hand color their print.

artwork showing a dog sled

Drawing from Observation: Antlers (Sitka Blacktail)

Students observe and draw the shapes and details of individual local deer antlers (class set provided in the kit.) Students use an antler age chart to determine the deer's age.  

artwork showing a dog sled

Drawing from Observation: Jánwu (Mountain Goat)

 This drawing lesson uses the mountain goat materials provided by Fish and Game to build curiosity and understanding around the local mountain goat and how it's unique adaptations help it to survive in rugged high ranges in Southeast Alaska.

artwork showing a dog sled

Expressionist Environment

Students look at 2D and 3D art and artists. They create their own 3D environment using paper folding and cutting techniques. Embellishments are added with color and pattern.

three dimensional abstract sculpture of paper and wire

Faith Ringgold Memory Quilt

This lesson is designed to be taught in two sessions. Students study the work of artist, teacher, author and illustrator Faith Ringgold. They create a story quilt with a well-developed drawing based on a personal memory. Finished work includes a written memory sentence and a colorful pieced border.

picture with paper quilt like border

Flower Parts

Students are introduced to flower anatomy, after learning about the life and work of botanist Elizabeth Britton. They use oil pastels and shading techniques to create flower parts and assemble these parts to make a flower relief. Includes writing lesson!

partially 3-D paper sculpture of a flower

Frog in Monet's Pond

Share two children’s books about Monet (included).  Monet’s lily pad paintings are discussed before students draw lily pads with oil pastels. Wet-on-wet is experienced as students paint their pond. Finally, students are taught to draw frogs, which are cut out and added to the pond.

painting of frogs in a pond

Keith Haring Action Figures

Students work in the style of Keith Haring as they draw and then cut out brightly colored action figures. Embellishment with oil pastels shows movement. Includes writing lesson!

artwork of dancing man

Lines and Textures of the Sea

Students look at photos of the sea for the lines and textures found in nature. They refer to Dale DeArmond’s prints for inspiration, then create a sea-themed design of lines and textures. This is inscribed into Styrofoam then printed as an edition of three blockprints.

prints of sea scenes

Magic Machines

Students learn about simple machines and how they work by looking at and discussing examples. They invent their own machine using colored markers and ingenuity. Includes writing lesson!

drawing of an imaginary machine

Me in Motion

Students use construction paper and telephone wire to create a balanced mobile that represents themselves and things they like.

mobile with paper and wire

Moon Moods

Students create a Tlingit style cut out paper moon to use in making rubbings with crayons.  In their rubbings students depict the moon in different phases to show different emotions that they may be feeling or have felt.

Tlingit moon paper face

Murals of Our Towns and Villages

Students learn about muralist Diego Rivera and how he used perspective to show near and far. A mural of their own town or village is drawn after planning the important resources, buildings, animals and landmarks that need to be included. Includes writing lesson!

collage of Fairbanks

Nightscapes Scratch Art

This lesson highlights the art of Caldecott award winning artist, Beth Krommes, the illustrator of The House in the Night.  Students create a scratch art card in her style, showing perspective and a focal point. Several copies of each student’s original can be made on the copier, thus creating a set of cards, including an “original” and “reproductions.”

scratch art night time scene

One Liners

Students use Picasso’s technique of one-line sketching to draw their classmate's ideas. The subject of the drawings can be directed by current curricular subjects.

continuous line drawing of a dog

Optical Illusions

Students observe the graphic art of M.C. Escher.  They reproduce simple optical illusions, which require measuring and awareness of parallel and perpendicular lines.  Students add creative drawings and texture rubbings, then finish the piece by writing a sentence about the optical illusion.

optical illusion art

Parts to Whole Shoe Drawings

In this lesson, students use a magnifying glass to carefully study the different parts of their shoe.  They record the “parts” and the “whole” in careful line drawings.  Acting as “scientific engineers,” they add a new part which they think would improve the shoe.  Students consider that things are made of many parts which come together to make a whole.

line drawing of a shoe

Pendulum Painting

Partner STEAM lesson to Science Kit Prediction Motions. In this lesson the classroom is transformed into a STEAM lab, with pendulum stations for every three students. In a very successfully structured process students each make a pendulum painting, which shows the beautiful patterns of a swinging cup of paint

line drawing of a shoe

Picasso Portraits

Students look at 6 Picasso portraits to see the difference between realistic and abstract styles, and the characteristics of the Cubist style. They learn how to draw facial features and the correct placement on a face. A portrait collage is made from their practice pieces, along with embellished clothing.

sample of PIcasso-sytle portrait

Poetry Animation:  Flip-its!

“Flip-its” are a fun way to learn about the art of animation and how it works. Students create an original character from a shape, giving it personality and movement. Students write a short poem about their flip-it using “opposite” words.

Flip-it art

Private Eye:  Fingerprint Analogies

Students observe carefully, seeing the patterns and shapes of fingerprints through a magnifying “jewelers loupe,” then draw and paint a colorful large scale version of the fingerprint.  They think of “analogies;” what else does their fingerprint remind them of? Creative writing is a natural extension of this lesson. Includes writing lesson!

painting of an engarged fingerprint design

Quilting with Fractions and Symmetry

Students learn about the extensive and interesting history of quilt making.  They then cut shapes from paper squares, and, using equivalent fractions they design center and border squares with vertical, horizontal and diagonal symmetry.

symmetrical paper quilt square

Scientific Drawing: Feathers

Students are inspired by the work of local scientific artist, Kathy Hocker.  Using a feather (included) as a model, they create a "scientific notebook page" which includes a detailed drawing, close-up view, and written scientific comments which include observations, inferences and questions about the feather.

student drawing of a feather

Shadow Puppet Workshop

Students create a class collection of a variety of shadow puppet characters that can be adapted for use in dramatizing many stories. This kit uses characters found in the 3rd grade Reading Wonders anthology and can be adapted for use with many stories. Students learn specific skills to create a successful shadow puppet. 

two paper shadow puppets

Shadow Puppetry (Drama kit)

This drama lesson explores the use of shadow puppets and shadow play to enrich writing literacy and storytelling. In pairs or small groups, students are inspired by shadow puppets to collaboratively write dialogue for the plot of a short scene. Students then present the original drama with the shadow puppets while practicing prosody in dramatic reading and exploring the technical and expressive aspects of puppeteering. 


students performing shadow puppetry

Spectrum of Constellations

Students create a colorful piece of artwork depicting a constellation found in the northern sky. Students paint the full spectrum of colors found in light for the background. They learn their order as found in nature (rainbows): red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Metallic marker and star stickers are added to create a stellar effect!

a painting of a constellation

Turkish Tiles

Students are inspired by the 16th century Iznik Tiles that cover the interior walls of many public buildings in Turkey. Students design a tile incorporating symbolic flowers and symbols to show symmetry or asymmetry. The tiles are then connected by common points to show unity, as a class display. 

floral design picture

Unity Block Party: Woocheen

This lesson is intended to be done by all the third grade classes in the school (at least 2) Students learn about the concept of "unity" in art and create small paper designs that all join together to make a large paper mural, showing unity in it's many common elements. 

floral design picture

Warm and Cool Leaf Colors

This lesson teaches students about warm and cool colors and how we are affected by color.  Students draw and cut a stencil of a local leaf shape and print a series of prints.  Two banners of student prints are created to emphasize warm and cool colors.  Students trade a print with another student to discover the effect of combining warm and cool colors.

three color print of leaves

Watercolor: Poetry as Inspiration

Students learn watercolor techniques.  Class reads poems inspired by the night sky. Each student visualizes their favorite line in the poem and illustrates it in watercolor.

watercolor painting of night sky

Weaving Code

Students explore how writing a pattern for a paper weaving can be like coding. They design their own original pattern and create it with paper weaving.

weaving of a tree on a paper plate

Weaving Tree

Students learn about the world-wide "fiber art" of weaving. They learn weaving vocabulary and make a weaving sample, with yarn on a paper plate, where the "warp" forms the trunk and branches, and the "weft" are the colors of a tree.

weaving of a tree on a paper plate

Window to Raven and Eagle

Students learn about raven and eagle moiety in Tlingit culture and create a tissue paper collage that can be displayed in the window. Student?s artwork includes an eagle or a raven silhouette, tissue in traditional colors, and a frame which includes the shapes “ovoid,” “u-shape” and “s-shape.”

"stained glass" collage of raven

Winter Geometry

Students find geometric shapes in artwork of cityscapes and photos of real snowflakes. Using pattern block stamps they design and cut out  six-sided snow-flakes, discovering radial symmetry. The arrangement of snowflakes on construction paper becomes a collage.

geometric snowflakes art

Zoom-in on Southeast Alaska

Students trace portions of Southeast Alaska maps (included), then locate an imaginary “special place” on this map. They name their place with a Tlingit-style place name.  A small detailed watercolor painting shows a “zoom-in” view of this special place.

watercolor painting of a bear on a hand drawn map