Third grade is very often a time of tremendous change for children and thus it can require that we make tremendous changes in how we meet them.
There is perhaps no more archetypal image that can help us understand the third grade child than that of any creation mythology in which the human being, once united with the Creator, now finds himself separated, forlorn, and bereft. The developing consciousness of the 8-9 year-old begins to have a sense of separateness. There is now an awakening sense of an inner world. The signature of one-ness that holds and sustains the young child is lost. It is a dramatic and necessary step toward individuation. So, the third grade elements of form drawing incorporate this experience.
Forms in third grade
Now we work with forms that explore relationships and change. We bring about forms that challenge us to explore and create new harmonies. This is an exciting time because the forms that we set up for the child can be balanced in many different ways. There is not a “perfectly correct” answer. The “rightness” must be felt by the child and by the teacher.
Learning to live as an individual on the earth is a constant exercise of attempting to find harmony in new ways as new elements arise in our lives. So, the teacher can be as creative in providing new “quests” for the student and then remain open to the practically infinite possibilities that the child has for discovery of corresponding forms. This has a mutually-inspirational quality that provides a lift to the child who struggles with this new sense of the bigness of the outer world and the isolation of the inner world.
“They should be given sufficient space to engage in the process in an exploratory manner. If this is achieved, a rich opportunity for differentiation and mutual inspiration is created.”
Peter Giesen, Form Drawing Workbook
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