third grade rocks!

Art in different cultures around the world is a reflection of environment, land, and home. In relation to the third grade “Keepers of the Earth” theme, the students explore how artists make and use art as an expression of their place in the world.

We started with the cold landscape of the Inuit and looked at how material, size, function, and subject matter of Inuit art directly relates to their environment.

An inuksuk is a balanced based stone sculpture traditionally built by the Inuit. These sculptures were used as hunting and navigation aids, coordination points, message centers, and as spiritual markers. The third grade artists expressed their thoughts and ideas by choosing and arranging rocks, stones, and pebbles; these pieces of earth formed by ancient forces long before our time.

We read this beautiful book to help get us started. Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor presents 10 wonderful rules for finding just the right rock. I challenged the third grade artists to come up with an 11th rule. This is a great way to get them thinking about aesthetics. Here are some of the rules they created:

Keep your rock in a special spot. -Catherine
Make sure it matches your personality. -Lily
Be gentle with your rock. -Emma
Keep your rock at the right temperature. -Sophie
Find another friend for you rock. -Rohan
Don't let you rock fall into the wrong hands! -Steven
Find round rocks that look like a robin's egg. -Gavin
Look for one that has a white line going all the way around. -Mila
Don't misplace your rock. -Julia
Take your time finding the perfect rock. -Meg
Keep your rock close to you. -Ruby
Find a rock that suits you. -Mason
Respect the personality of your rock. -Allie
Name your rock. -Russell
Enjoy your rock while you have it. -Tre
Put it against your cheek to really feel it. -Maya


therese english perdue said...

I LOVE this experience! I'm going to have to collect some more rocks to try this out soon!
I really like the 11th line idea-
I just adore, "Put it against your cheek to really feel it". How poetic!

Mr. E said...

This is super cool! Love what I'm seein' on your blog!! Keep up the awesome work!

The McAuleys said...

Can you tell us what the other book is in the photo? The one open on the table? Thanks!

Shannah said...

Hello there,
That is a great little book!
Make Your Own Inuksuk by Mary Wallace.

VanessaV said...

J'aime beaucoup cet esprit de l'esthétique au regard de tous les peuples: magnifique travail avec les enfants! Et quelles magnifiques règles!

Shannah said...


Unknown said...

Where did you get your rocks? I love the variety you have.


Shannah said...

Most are from the dollar store!