Third Grade Language Arts & Drawing Course
Simple, easy to follow language arts & drawing lessons!
Welcome to Third Grade Language Arts!
Be aware that this is a course designed to be a resource to parents and/or teachers. I have often created the video lessons AS IF I were actually working with a student or a class so that the video exists as an example of how I work through the various points of the lesson.
Also it is important to understand that these are main lessons. The main lesson is meant to introduce new concepts and practices. However, main lesson can only offer a limited amount of actual practice of new concepts and skills. It is the (parent) teacher's responsibility, working with a student, to notice what needs more practice or support. Thus, some lessons could need to be adjusted. Some children may need more challenge, others may need less challenge. I offer suggestions for how lessons can be adjusted in these ways. Similarly, students need separate times to just practice the skills that are introduced in main lesson. This extra practice is critical for acquiring mastery of basic rudimentary skills such as sound-symbol recognition, sight word acquisition, reading fluency, proper pencil grip, consistency of letter size and spacing, encoding proper spelling, decoding new words, etc. (This is the same for math courses, but with mostly different skill sets, of course.)
This course includes a pdf document of weekly spelling word lists as well as example daily activities to help learn the words. Many of the words came from the 180 stories that are told in "Third Grade Stories" course. Some of the words are included for their value as examples of different spelling conventions, however.
This course includes three blocks that are "dual focus", meaning we focus on language arts as well as practical arts. The practical arts are two Shelter Blocks and one Clothing Block. The shelter projects I have demonstrated are possible projects you might choose for your student. Please be aware that some of the tools I used may not be appropriate / safe for your child/student. So I issue this warning reminder throughout those blocks:
Warning: If you choose to have a student use tools, such as a hot glue gun, pruners, loppers, saw, or knife, adult supervision is required. Tools such as these can be dangerous.
These shelter and clothing blocks are definitely meant to be fun and active, but they should not become a "vacation" from the academic progress that needs to occur throughout the third grade year. This is a critical year for language development, in particular. Many students, if they are given enough challenge and enough opportunities to exercise and practice new language skills, in both reading and writing, will move from rudimentary skills to true fluency in reading and true facility in composition and basic writing mechanics.
When you are coming to the shelter and clothing projects, I strongly advise that you look ahead. There are materials and supplies that you may not already possess. Also, the process needs a general overview. Watching all the videos for the upcoming project ahead of time will help you gain a sense of the "whole" before moving into the "parts". As it is when working with students, moving from whole to parts and then back to whole is a healthy and meaningful way to progress through lessons--even for us.
Also, it is important to have the right understanding for these practical arts projects with shelters and clothing (as well as the food block in the Third Grade Math course). What are we hoping to achieve with these unique blocks?
As I mention in articles and videos, the third grader often experiences a growth / development known as the "Nine Year Change". (There are three PDF articles in the "Pedagogical Articles" section at the bottom of this course.) Without delving into that too deeply here, let it suffice to say that the third grader typically comes to a new sense of themselves and the world, perhaps most poignantly characterized as a sense that these two "things" are more separate than they once were. In contrast, the very young child is at one with the world. Hence, the young child has little to no "self-consciousness". It is a utopian state of innocence, you might say, and one that every human being is destined to lose in the process of maturation. In other words, we become self-conscious and thereby have a sense that we are separate from the world, from our parents, from our friends, from God, etc. We see this reflected in the creation stories with Adam and Eve in the Old Testament, for example, when they eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus requiring that they leave the Garden of Eden and go out into the world where life is not going to be so easy. The loss of this innocent sense of oneness can be startling and overwhelming for the child at first. The world becomes bigger, darker, and maybe even scarier than it ever seemed before. Life looks more daunting. The sense of "perfection" is lost.
This is where these practical skills and projects can become an aid for helping the third grader gain a new sense of confidence.
These practical arts projects are aimed at the most basic skills needed to gain a new sense of confidence and ability in regards to living in this big world. Food, Clothing, and Shelter--these are the most basic and essential skills we need. When the third grader has even a handful of experiences that help them begin to understand these three aspects of living on the earth, they gain confidence with that understanding. It is this new level of confidence and basic skill that help them navigate this "nine year change".
A NOTE ABOUT MODEL SHELTER PROJECTS:
We want these projects to challenge the student, to stretch them into learning and doing new things. At the same time, we do not want to truly stress the student. True stress would create a negative learning experience.
Key Question for us to Answer:
How can we know the difference between a student's true stress and the student being stretched into areas of learning (which are almost always uncomfortable)?
The following answer is true of all lessons, not just the practical arts lessons.
Teachers must be able to recognize the difference between stress and discomfort--and the student's resistance that can sometimes come from discomfort. True stress is reached when a student is actually attempting to do an activity or a lesson and the level of skill required is so far beyond their abilities that they feel truly overwhelmed--but they are making the attempt(s). Resistance, which can seem like stress, occurs when a student will not even make an attempt--or they make a feeble attempt and give up far too quickly. As we all know, there is no chance of success when we are not even willing to try. Parents and educators must do all that we can to help students overcome such inner resistance. We must help them see the truth in what the great Chinese teacher, Lao Tzu, said: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Resistance is an unwillingness to take a step. Stress is trying to take the next step and finding that it is simply beyond our current abilities. Both are natural, but they require different approaches from the parent and/or educator.
That being said, a good deal of adult assistance and adult supervision will be required for these projects.
What you will learn:
How to derive a language arts lesson from a story imagination
How to support and develop a student's compositional abilities
How to use block crayons to create simple drawings from stories
How to lead students through the drawing process
How to practice with the words and word families to strengthen phonemic awareness
How to systematically introduce spelling rules and spelling conventions so that the child becomes increasingly familiar and comfortable with the written language, whether reading or writing
How to consistently build the child's sight-word vocabulary, thus increasing reading fluency
How to customize your language teaching efforts to fit the child at their individual level of development
What you will receive:
80 Lessons--divided into five main lesson blocks, essentially half of a school year
Three of the five main lesson blocks are dual purpose: practical arts combined with language arts
Two blocks of shelter projects and project reports
One block of clothing projects and project reports
A complete list of Third Grade Language Arts Goals from Simply Waldorf
Weekly spelling lists and daily spelling list practice activities
Additional resources, video and PDF articles, to deepen your understanding of the course and of Waldorf education
What you will need:
Graphite Pencils with triangular grip
Drawing paper (recommended: 11" x 14" 60 lb (80 grams / sq meter) sketch pad)
Manual pencil sharpener
Optional "page liner" (I demonstrate how to create and use)
Many other materials are needed for the specific shelter and clothing blocks, specified in those blocks
Who is this course for:
This course is for homeschool parent-educators as well as teachers in a more traditional setting--or anyone anywhere in between.
Courses also purchased:
Waldorf Language Arts & Drawing Course
This course, of 80 total lessons divided into 5 main lesson blocks, covers the third grade main lesson content with "pure" language arts lessons, as well as language arts combined with practical arts projects in shelter building and clothing. This is a dynamic curriculum designed specifically for the unique developments of the third grade year!