Open Court Theme:

Grade 3 - Unit 3 - Imagination

General Unit Opener Information:

Unit Opener General Resources Page

Unit Opener Powerpoints:

Unit Opener Powerpoint by Barbara Cruz

Unit Opener Powerpoint by Harding Elementary

Also see Movies page

Unit Opener Ideas:

Print Version: Imagination Unit Openers

See What Others Don't
Submitted by:
Donny Corsentino
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In the Imagination Unit Opener picture, you see a man with a mustache being painted by a group of children. Each child has a different interpretation of the mustachioed man. Discuss the picture, emphasize that each painter is using his/her imagination to see what others don't in that man. Then, have students paint their own interpretation of the mustachioed man. This is a 30-60 minutes project. Put finished paintings on C/Q Board.

Harold and the Purple Unit Opener
Submitted by:
Jen Little
Submit your Unit Opener or Closer Idea Here

Using Harold and the Purple Crayon book and video to lead student to writing.

Part One by Jane Little

Part Two by Jane Little

Squiggles -- What Do You See?
Submitted by:
Lourdes Paz
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I took a black marker and made squiggles on white construction paper. They all looked different. I posted them around the room and when the students came in I told them to choose their favorite. Once they had their favorite squiggle they used their imaginations and created something out of the squiggle they had chosen. They turned them into beautiful art work. They then wrote a paragraph about the experience and their work of art. These made for a beautiful bulletin board later.

Show A Video / Get A CD from Smithsonian Art Museum
Submitted by:
Jan Tappan
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Smithsonian Art Museum

Artists and Their Work: In Brief is a baker's dozen CD collection of twenty-five years of educational print resources-now all out-of-print. To receive your free CD, contact Linda Maxwell at

Teacher Guides:
The Education Office at the Smithsonian American Art Museum develops teachers' guides, student activity packets, and similar materials that complement our collections and special exhibitions. While these materials were designed with school tours in mind, they can be valuable to the online visitor as well.
Available online guides include the following:
* Mythology and the Art of Paul Manship
* Pueblo Indian Watercolors
* Art and Life of William H. Johnson

Music Makes Me Feel
Submitted by:
Laura Skadsen
Submit your Unit Opener or Closer Idea Here

For a unit opener, I give students a piece of large, white construction paper. I ask students to fold the paper into four sections. While I play each of four pieces of music, students draw whatever each piece of music makes them feel. For example, classical-slow, sad; classical--happy;
nature--happy, peaceful; and symphonic. Students are asked not to talk to others during this activity.

Suspense Story
Submitted by:
Stacey Harrison
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I turn off the lights and have my students put their heads down and close their eyes. I make up a story, usually about going on a walk, and stop with the story unfinished. I make sure that I stop at a point that the students can all describe what they "see". For example: When I came out into the clearing it was incredible! I saw...... Then I have the kids draw a picture of what they saw and write a descriptive paragraph about their picture. It's fun to see what everyone comes up with and is a great illustration about how everyone's imagination is different.

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