I got the original idea for a Blue Dog lesson for third graders from Deep Space Sparkle, although I have to say there were many, many inspiring George Rodrigue art lessons in the blog world that motivated me.
I first showed students a clip from CBS Sunday Morning that gave an excellent description of the life and art of George Rodrigue. Then we referred directly to Rodrigue's website to see a variety of Blue Dogs (and Red Dogs, Pink Dogs, etc.).
I showed students step-by-step how to draw blue dog, starting with a circle for the head, a squiggle for the top of the snout, which then leads to a "wobbly vase shape" for the rest of the snout (which I also draw separately on the board to help them understand). I do all of Blue Dog at once and then set them free. I have found that Grade 3 is too advanced to follow me with each step, and they do a great job, as you can see from the photos!! They blow me away each year with how creative they are with accessories and settings (I tell them to keep accessories to 3 max, and settings SIMPLE). I find that this is the project that parents tell me the most frequently that they frame.