Year 3 The Arts — Visual Art

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Colour my world

Year 3

The Arts — Visual Art

Children use colour to create visual art works that express a feeling. They select one of their artworks and prepare an artist’s statement about it. They also interpret the artworks of another child, making use of visual arts language.

Time allocation

2 hours

Context for assessment

Teaching Visual Art to children helps them to become visually literate and encourages them to express themselves at their own level of development. Exploring visual arts elements, such as colour, enables children to communicate experiences, feelings, ideas and observations in visual arts works. Colour can excite and fascinate children, as its capacity to express an emotion or feeling is universal. Colour can affect people and their emotional responses — it can invigorate, alert and bring feelings of peace and calm.

A unit incorporating this assessment would be structured around exploring, creating and interpreting visual arts works.

This assessment gathers evidence of learning for the following Essential Learnings:redesign headings_identify

The Arts Essential Learnings by the end of Year 3

Ways of working

Students are able to:

create and shape arts works by combining arts elements to express personal ideas, feelings and experiences

respond to arts works and describe initial impressions and personal interpretations, using arts elements and languages.

Knowledge and understanding

Visual Art

Visual Art involves using visual arts elements, concepts, processes and forms (both 2-D and 3-D) to express ideas, considering particular audiences and particular purposes, through images and objects.

Warm (red, orange, yellow) and cool (blue, green, purple) colour schemes, and mixed and complementary colours, are used to create tone and variation.

Assessable elements

Knowledge and understanding



Source: Queensland Studies Authority 2007, The Arts Essential Learnings by the end of Year 3, QSA, Brisbane.

Listed here are suggested learning experiences for children before implementing this assessment.

Introduce and teach colour theory. See Appendix A: Guide for the assessment.redesign headings_sequence

Experiment with colour mixing and concepts around primary, secondary and tertiary colours. See Appendix B: Glossary.

Discuss, define and explore variation, tone and complementary colours.

Explore how colours can be positioned and arranged to create an effect (e.g. select and arrange complementary colours, such as red and green to make an object stand out).

Identify and discuss warm colours and cool colours.

Create colour wheels and/or a rainbow collage to explore different tints and shades of colour using objects such as toys, lunch boxes, pencil cases, rulers and book covers, or objects from the natural world.

List the primary colours and brainstorm their various shades and tints (e.g. the primary colour yellow has a number of shades and tints including lemon, gold, daffodil, sunshine, sand and honey).

Use paint samples from paint shops to build a vocabulary of colour names and descriptions (e.g. bold, murky, delicate, subtle, muted).

Explore how colours evoke personal feelings and reactions (e.g. look at how advertisements can make us feel hungry by using red). Think of statements such as, “When I look at the colour red, I feel angry or hungry” or “When I look at the colours red and orange, I feel excited”.

Explore colour in association with cultural contexts including Indigenous perspectives.

Explore colour through famous artworks. Photocopy and enlarge selected pictures and allow the children to colour the artworks differently. This will demonstrate how colour changes can result in different interpretations of the original works.

Look at a range of picture books (e.g. Amy and Louis by Libby Gleeson; My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss) that use colour to add meaning to a story and reflect emotions and feelings, such as happy, sad, scared and excited. See the Teacher resources.

Explore materials and colour — use a variety of media including paint, watercolours, acrylics, coloured paper, coloured pencils and gouache.

Develop a wall chart of visual arts language to help children prepare their artist’s statements and interpret visual arts works. Discuss words such as emotion, interpretation, evoke, tone, secondary, tertiary, variation and arrange.

Model how to write and format an artist’s statement.

Model how to write a reflection using the artist’s palette from the Student booklet.

Go on an excursion to an art gallery or museum or have an artist visit the school.


Teacher resources

Appendix A Guide for the assessment

Appendix B Glossary

Print resources for teachers

Primary Art Book G, Sterrett D 2007, R.I.C Publications, Western Australia.

Web resources

Inside Art, Educational Web Adventures 1997, accessed 1 September 2009, .

The Art Zone: interactive art that you can make online, National Gallery of Art 2009, accessed 1 September 2009, .

Queensland Art Gallery Children’s Art Centre: .

Queensland Art Gallery Education Programs:.

Children’s books

My Many Colored Days, Seuss Dr 1996, Random House, New York.

The Red Tree, Tan Shaun 2001, Lothian, Port Melbourne.

Amy and Louis, Gleeson Libby 2006, Scholastic Press, Gosford.


Consider these points before implementing the assessment.redesign headings_develop

This assessment asks children to use colour to express a feeling. Children can choose to express themselves using an image or object, but the teacher should decide on the use of materials.

The subject matter can range from a person, place or thing to a more abstract representation. The teacher will direct children to draw on their own experience and imagination to come up with an idea.

Children’s arts works will be imaginative and emotional, so sensitivity is important. Children will need to respond to others’ visual arts works with respect and awareness of cultural protocols. Ensure children understand that colour has different significance in different cultures (e.g. in eastern cultures, white is the colour of mourning, while in western cultures, black is the colour of mourning).

A mini gallery could be produced at school, or a nearby art gallery could be used to promote a local community focus. A gallery allows children to present their visual arts works in an authentic environment.

If the necessary technology is available, a cyber gallery could be created and children’s visual arts works could be scanned or photographed and uploaded, accompanied by recorded artist’s statements and interpretations.

Note: Identifiable images of individual children are not to be posted on the web without permission.


Consider these points when implementing the assessment.

Teachers may choose not to print the entire Student booklet. They may print selected pages, create overhead transparencies or make wall charts. The artist’s palette in Section 3 could be copied onto A3 paper.

Sample implementation plan

This table shows one way that this assessment can be implemented. It is a guide only — you may choose to use all, part, or none of the table. You may customise the table to suit your children and their school environment.

Suggested time

Student activity

Teacher role


Section 1. Artworks

10–15 minutes

Whole-class discussion about colour.

Guide children in a whole-class discussion about colour, including concepts of tone and variation (mixed and complementary colours).

Discuss and experiment with mixing and complementing colours with an emphasis on emotion or feeling.

Discuss words that involve emotions and feelings (e.g. fear, joy, sadness, frustration, anger, excitement).

Appendix A: Guide for the Assessment

Appendix B: Glossary

60 minutes

Plan your ideas and choose the colour/s you want to use.

Think about why you want to use the colour/s you have chosen.

Decide if your artwork will express the feeling you want it to.

Create your artwork.

Repeat the above steps to create more than one visual arts work.

Children select one visual artwork each to display in the mini gallery.

Guide children through Section 1 of the Student booklet, if it is being used.

Repeat as many times as required. A minimum of two visual arts works is recommended.

Assist children to select an artwork.

Appendix A: Guide for the Assessment

Art materials (chosen by teacher)

Section 2. Artist’s statement

15–30 minutes

Use sentence starters to prepare an artist’s statement for the chosen artwork.

Write a statement or practise or record a spoken statement.

Revise the concepts and processes explored. Guide the children through Section 2 of the Student booklet to develop an artist’s statement.

Read each sentence starter and ask children to make notes.

Children may prefer to record, memorise or just write their artist’s statement. This is at the teacher’s discretion, and will depend on the choice of gallery.

Additional paper for a written description may be required

Appendix A: Guide for the Assessment

Electronic recording equipment (optional)

Section 3. Interpreting another’s artwork

10–15 minutes (longer if desired)

Interpret another’s artwork during the visit to the mini gallery.

Make notes about another’s artwork in the splotches provided on the artist’s palette in the Student booklet.

Encourage children to interpret another’s artwork using visual arts language.

Guide children in using the artist’s palette to interpret another’s artwork.

Model how to fill in the splotches on the artist’s palette by answering the questions.

It may be necessary to write the children’s interpretations or record oral interpretations.

Appendix A: Guide for the Assessment


Resources for the assessment

Appendix A Guide for the assessment

Appendix B Glossary

Electronic recording equipment (optional)

During the learning process, you and your children should have developed a shared understanding of the curriculum expectations identified as part of the planning process.redesign headings_make

After the children have completed the assessment, identify, gather and interpret the information provided in children’s responses. Use only the evidence in children’s responses to make your judgment about the quality of learning. Refer to the following documents to assist you in making standards-referenced judgments:

Guide to making judgments

Indicative A response

Sample responses (where available).

Making judgments about this assessment

The artist statement developed by the children should be considered alongside the artwork. It is the support document that outlines the children’s intent and use of colour. This provides the teacher with insight into the ideas and decisions the child has made in the creative process.


For further information, refer to the resource Using a Guide to making judgments, available in the Resources section of the Assessment Bank website.

Evaluate the information gathered from the assessment to inform teaching and learning strategies.

Involve children in the feedback process. Give children opportunities to ask follow-up questions and share their learning observations or experiences.redesign headings_use

Focus feedback on the child’s personal progress. Emphasise continuous progress relative to their previous achievement and to the learning expectations — avoid comparing a child with their classmates.

Giving feedback about this assessment

Children should be given feedback regularly throughout the creation process. They should be asked to clarify their ideas as they explore and create their artwork and describe their artist statement.

When responding to another’s artwork, children should be encouraged to provide constructive and sensitive comment on their use of colour to express feeling.


For further information, refer to the resource Using feedback, available in the Resources section of the Assessment Bank website.

Guide for the assessment

How to introduce colour to the children

Colour is everywhere we look and it plays an important role in the world.

Colour can influence the way we think about things; it can influence the way we act and how we feel.

Colour is powerful and can send us messages.

We can use colour to express an emotion or feeling

You could wake up feeling cranky and express this in an artwork by using dark colours, or you could wake up feeling cheerful and use bright colours instead.

You could draw your pet and use colours to show how your pet makes you feel. For example, your pet can make you feel happy or make you feel frustrated. You can use different colours to show both these feelings.

How to develop an idea

The following questions can be used to help children focus on personal experiences they can develop into an image or object.

Example questions to prompt ideas:

What is something you do that makes you happy?

What is something you do that makes you sad?

When and where do you feel safe?

Can you tell how others feel (e.g. brother, sister) by the way they move? What does this tell you about feelings?

Can you tell how a pet feels by the way it moves?

What is something brave you have done?

When have you felt frightened?

What is something you have just learnt to do? How did it make you feel?

What are some of the things you like to do at this time of year? Or another time?

Ask children to link their ideas to colours

What is a happy colour? Or a sad colour?

What colour makes you feel strong?

What is the colour of bravery? Or fear?

What colour do you think shows quiet? Or noise?

What is the colour of a cat purring? Or a dog barking?

Encourage children to ask themselves questions to help them make decisions

What goes into my picture?

What colours will I select?

How will I use the colours? Do I want dark colours or light colours?

Will I mix colours? What colours will I mix?

How will I arrange the colours I have selected?

What materials will I use?

Will I use paint or pencil?

How to interpret artwork

Questions to ask about the artwork:

What materials were used?

What do I see? (Make a list of everything you observe in the artwork)

What colours were used?

What processes were used? (e.g. mixed and complementary colours)

What concepts were used? (e.g. tone and variation)

Describe the artwork — what is the subject matter?

What feeling is expressed in the artwork?

Additional suggested sentence starters could be used to support children

The materials used were …

I see …

The colours used were …

… was mixed with … to make ... (e.g. blue was mixed with yellow to make green)

… and … were used together as complementary colours (e.g. red and green were used together to make a part of the image stand out more)

The colour went from dark to light, for example … (e.g. tone)

I varied the colour … (e.g. variation of colour for the same subject)

The subject of the artwork is …

The feeling expressed is …

I think the feeling of … is expressed because …

The artwork reminds me of …

I have learnt … (e.g. that using the colour red can make my painting look angry)


Primary colours

Red, yellow and blue

… may be blended/mixed to make all other colours except white and black

Secondary colours

Orange, green and purple

… are created when two primary colours are blended/mixed

Tertiary colours

… do not appear on the colour wheel and are created when three primary colours are blended/mixed together in varying quantities


… is the amount of lightness or darkness of the colour


… creates interest in artworks

Variation may be similar and different, so that could mean:

variation of colour (tone — light and dark)

variation of colour within a colour

(e.g. warm red/red/cool red)

variation in colours (e.g. different or similar colours used …)

© The State of Queensland (Queensland Studies Authority) and its licensors 2009.

All rights reserved. Please read the copyright notice on our website:


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