The Arts in Third Grade
Children should be encouraged to participate in all forms of artistic expression throughout the elementary grades. Self-expression through singing, painting, dancing, and acting can do wonders for a child's confidence and self-esteem while strengthening his or her communication skills; and exposure to a variety of artists and performers in many media provides the foundation for lifelong enjoyment of the arts. Unfortunately, however, arts programs are being dropped from many schools, sacrificed either because of budget problems or because policy makers have decided that the arts are not as important as other elements of the curriculum. Parents must insist on strong arts programs for their children.
Children are particularly drawn to painting as a means of self-expression. They should also have opportunities to make music and to dance. The third grade is a time for children to be actively engaged in the arts rather than simply learning about the arts. But their imaginations can be stimulated and challenged by visits to museums and exhibitions or by musical and dance performances. This is a good time for children to begin lessons on musical instruments; schools should provide these lessons to ensure full access by all children.
Reprinted with permission from 101 Educational Conversations with Your 3rd Grader by Vito Perrone, published by Chelsea House Publishers
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