Artists in grades three and four reach a significant turning point in their artistic development. They are developing genuine understanding of the properties, qualities, and processes of creating art that matches the growing complexity of their ideas about the world. Artists in grades three and four demonstrate a solid command of the tools and materials and attention to craftsmanship becomes more important in their representations. Students are gaining confidence and competence in their artistic abilities and retain the joy and excitement of discovery making art brings to them.

In order to acquire more formal and independent understanding of the language of art, the organizational and expressive possiblities of mateirals need to intersect with the curiosity, imagination, and experiences of the artist. Students need to be challenged to explore the multiple possibilities of the materials as they create representations of their experiences that incorporate information derived from what they see, what they know, what they understand, and how they feel. These young artists are using higher order thinking skills as they are integrating different aspects of their experiences in ore comprehensive and complex conceptions of self and world.

-- excerpt from Brookline Visual Arts Learning Expectations

Past Assignments:

Quiet Alone Place:

Third graders just finished building a representation of their "Quiet Alone Place" using clay. The first step was to think about a place where the students like to go to be alone. The next step was to roll a slab (a thin, even piece of clay) using a rolling pin and guides (long, ruler-like pieces of wood that help determine the thickness of a slab). The students then used what they know about building with clay to construct their Quiet Alone Place on top of the slab. All of the pieces were connected using score and slip, a technique that involves making small marks and applying some slip (watered-down clay) before connecting pieces to one another. Next, students applied texture using clay working tools to show rough, smooth, or jagged areas. After the clay dried completely, it was put in the kiln (super hot oven that fires the clay and makes it much more sturdy). The third graders learned that when clay is fired once and not glazed it is called bisqueware. Finally, a layer of glaze (special paint for clay that turns glassy after it is fired in the kiln) was applied. Look for the finished Quiet Alone Place sculptures on display in the library!

These are the materials needed for rolling a slab:
a piece of canvas to keep the clay from sticking to the table, a rolling pin, and two long, skinny guides that are the same thickness.

This is an example of one of the finished Quiet Alone Place sculptures.