3rd Grade Art & Music Integration

While the 4th and 5th graders were busy with their Romare Bearden/Jazz Music – Art and Music Integration Unit, the 3rd graders were involved in their own Art and Music Integration unit which was also the first art lesson that I had the pleasure of organizing and implementing. While the final products look very abstract the substance and lesson behind them allowed for students to use critical thinking skills and help them realize that everything that they learn in their Art class is connected to what they are learning in their other academic classes.

We began our unit listening to a short Jazz/Hip-Hop Instrumental song and really trying to pick out the beat/rhythm, the tempo, the pitch, and the different instruments. As a beginning exercise the students were instructed to “draw” the song with a line drawing. We then had a discussion on how the pitch relates to the shape of the line and an example would be sharp (triangular) lines represent a high/sharp pitch. Also, a fast tempo could be depicted by close-together and overlapping lines and a slow tempo could be depicted by lines that are farther apart. Finally we discussed how the beat can be translated as the background of a drawing. Then the students were instructed to do another drawing using various shapes to visually depict the song all the while still thinking about the connections between elements of music and visual art. The next step was an activity and discussion on what colors represent what particular sounds and music styles and then to add color to their shape drawings. The following activity allowed for the students to get out of their seats and move around a bit. I played recordings of various instruments and asked the students to use their facial expressions and bodies to show what that sound looked like. We had a lot of fun doing that! Their final task for the Art & Music Integration unit was to sculpt what the Jazz/Hip-Hop instrumental song looked like using pipe cleaners and add our sculptures to our drawings to create a final, mixed-media visual artwork of what music looks like.

The results turned out great and we had a great time! It was so great to hear the understanding in the 3rd graders voices of how Art and Music actually relate to each other instead of those quizzical looks I got in the beginning of the unit when I told them we were going to be drawing music 🙂


Part 3: Poetry

Some students did an excellent job and had a great job creating their collages but then finished before other groups. When students finished early, they became poets.

Students used the words from brainstorming weeks ago then wrote and illustrated poems.IMG_5869 IMG_5877 IMG_5878 IMG_5886 IMG_5887

Some students performed their poems:

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And even a song:

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Perspective with Snowmen

IMG_5283Each of my three classes at Huegel are very different from each other and have very different needs. But, as someone who is only there three hours a week, it is hard to differentiate my lessons to meet all of those needs. This is why I liked this lesson so much, all the same materials but meeting different needs and learning around one subject in many different ways.

Let’s start with what each of these three lessons has in common: snowmen, perspective, oil pastels, sharpie and watercolor with salt.

The first group of snowmen is from a second grade class who is able to listen and learn without much behavior difficulty. This class learned about perspective by learning about the horizon line, foreground and background.


IMG_5286 The second group has some difficulty with paying attention for longer periods of time so short lesson on perspective is what was needed. This group drew snowmen from the perspective of laying on the ground.

IMG_5281 IMG_5288 IMG_5289 IMG_5287 The third group is a third grade group and learned about perspective as well as overlapping and drawing off the page.

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Frank Lloyd Wright


Both Huegel second and third graders as well as Randall fourth graders created these beautiful stained glass windows inspired by nature just like Frank Lloyd Wright. We started with observational drawings of items from nature and then abstracted them into geometric shapes to create our symmetrical windows using line symmetry.

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famous WarholThis is what Andy Warhol is famous for. But most of us never learn about what he begin with which is his blotted line drawings. He was a graphic commercial artist who drew shoes for magazines and weather graphics for the news!

Andy Warhol ShoesSometimes, he came up with silly sayings for his shoes as well. lead to waterWe began by drawing our shoes using observational drawing skills.

IMG_5183Then we used wax paper to transfer the image to another sheet of paper with india ink.

IMG_5182 IMG_5180 IMG_5179IMG_5181And each artist chose to leave their image black and white, add watercolor, patterns or add a silly saying.

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Mandalas: Rotational Symmetry

IMG_5129I saw this lesson many places around the web but I first saw it at the art ed blog Splish Splash Splatter. Huegel third graders were learning about line symmetry in math class. Rotational symmetry comes up next and the second graders were just getting a head of the curve. I always hope that when I teach a concept earlier than their classroom teachers teach it, that when they see it in the classroom it makes more sense to them. We are all a team to support our students’ success! (Sometimes the art teachers are a forgotten part of that team).

Anyway, this was a lesson where every kid felt successful AND a lesson where their math concepts were being reinforced. I call that a win-win!

Some students choose to create one mandala and glue that on their background paper. Some students finished early and decided to create a second, larger mandala to attach to the back of their first smaller mandala with a brad. Their mandalas are now moveable art, they spin!


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