This will enable kinesthetic learning which is so essential for this age-group. A hands-on approach to art in which the students not only look at different forms of art but also take part in creating them will enable the imagination of the children to be captured.
The use of water to thin paint can introduce various elements of the basic science curriculum to the children. How water flows, what happens to it when other materials are put in it and what happens to it and other materials when it dries can be made an integral part of this learning experience. This will not only enable the students to understand how paint works but also that "science" is in fact fun and relevant to their actual lives. In the context of third-graders, this can be presented to them as how they can use the water in so many different ways.
A second technique for the teaching of art is to introduce the children to the art of many different cultures, and have them try to create their own versions of it. Thus children may be encouraged to bring in pictures from their own culture if the classroom is diverse enough to enable this exercise. The third-graders will learn about other cultures (an essential element of the wider curriculum) and also be self-empowered through discovering that they can produce their own versions of that culture's art.
As Gelineau (2003) suggests, the arts can provide opportunities for creative expression and self-fulfillment. The arts can and should be taught for their own sake as legitimate areas of study, but their link within the wider curriculum can also be stressed. Thus, as has been shown in this brief discussion, areas of the curriculum as diverse as science and cultural studies can be brought into the study of art. Most of all, the children should be taught that the appreciation of art is enjoyable, hopefully a lesson that will bring them a lifetime of pleasure in discovering the arts.
Gelineau, Phyllis. Integrating the Arts Across the Elementary School Curriculum. Wadsworth, New York: 2003.