3rd Grade Arts
Drama: In 3rd grade, students continue to learn elementary acting skills using scripts and improvisation exercises that allow them to put their nascent acting techniques into practice. The focus is on embodying character and building relationships in character—this true “character” work is exciting and prepares our 3rd graders to join the Fall Play or Spring Musical in 4th grade with confidence, should they choose to do so. Assessment is based on participation, cooperation, and individual progress.
Art: In 3rd grade, students begin by drawing their own mini Lego character, focusing on the proportions of a body. They continue their work with watercolor, incorporating shapes and tone in their practice. Tying into their study of birds, 3rd graders create a painting with colorful and abstract shapes and layering techniques. They learn about Sonia Delaunay’s work with circles and continue to develop their color mixing skills. Near the end of the year, students are challenged to incorporate math into the creation of a graphed portrait, inspired by the work of Wadsworth Jarrell.
Music: Music at Mark Day School is an outlet that promotes creativity, inspiration, positivity, empathy, community, self-expression, self-esteem, and fun! The K-3 music program is based on the practice of Orff Schulwerk, a holistic approach to music education developed by the composer Carl Orff and his colleague, Gunild Keetman. We are grounded in the premise that every child is innately musical and naturally loves to play, sing, and dance. This methodology enables every child to find their place within a dynamic, engaging, and creative learning environment. Special Orff instruments include xylophones that offer immediate quality sound. Played together in a small orchestra, their use helps children become sensitive listeners and considerate participants leading up to five-part Orff orchestrations and original compositions. We also support children’s discovery and invite them to include piano, guitar, ukulele, and any other instrument that ignites their curiosity. Our music curriculum is sequential and standards-based, aligned with project-based learning and Responsive Classroom, multi-cultural and socially relevant, integrated with the academic curriculum, accessible to aural, visual, and kinesthetic learners, and most of all – collaborative.
In 3rd grade, students turn their attention for the year to their first string instrument: the ukulele! They learn about the origin of this instrument and its cultural relevance and study the parts of the instrument and how to tune the ukulele. Students explore how sound is produced through the ukulele compared with the xylophone. They learn how to shape ukulele chords and how to read ukulele tablature, as well as major and minor chord structures and how chord families fit together. Students learn strumming patterns and then move on to read and play individual notes as we write original songs.
- 3rd Grade