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The Arts in First Grade

1art.gif In the early years, children are encouraged to express themselves in all the arts, to create landscapes, sound, music, and symbolic language. As children gain greater control of crayons and brushes, and as their eye-hand coordination improves, their drawings and paintings will become more detailed and colorful. In grade one children will become more conscious of the aesthetic character of their classroom and the school; they will organize plays; and they will become more skillful in the use of rhythm instruments.

Children gain a great deal -- in terms of self-esteem, expressiveness, and sheer pleasure -- from being active in as many of the arts as possible throughout their primary years. Yet in the vast majority of primary-school settings, education in the arts is given very little time or left out altogether. For this reason it is especially important that parents encourage and support their children's art activities. Parents can help make the arts a central element of their children's experience.

Reprinted with permission from 101 Educational Conversations with Your Kindergartner -- 1st Grader by Vito Perrone, published by Chelsea House Publishers

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