SchoolArts Magazine

January 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Winter Books We always begin our lessons by read- ing books. The winter-themed books I have used include Fox's Garden by Princesse Camcam, Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol, and Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell. These books feature animals and characters in bold colors (for example, a fox's red pelt) against beau- tiful snow-covered scenery. Shades of Blue Inspired by these wonderful books, I ask my young students to describe how they feel when they are cold. How does what they feel translate to color? Why are colors cold or warm? With this in mind, students paint backgrounds on 9 x 12" (23 x 30 cm) white oak tag in two different shades of blue, leaving a cen - ter white oval open for drawing. Snow and Ice Activities Once the paintings are completed and drying, we compile a list of the snow and ice winter activities in which stu- dents have participated, such as build- ing a snowman, sledding, skiing, ice fishing, ice skating, and ice hockey. I don't want to inhibit their excitement to illustrate only sports scenes, but I do remind them they learned how to draw the natural human figure as their first lesson in September. I ask them to think about that as they proceed with a rough draft and plan details for their winter scenes. Adding Snowflakes As students draw their detailed scene using colored pencils and cray - ons, we discuss snowflake designs. We examine snowflake details on the overhead projector and I pass around a handout so they can see how to translate the image into a drawing. Some students draw more detailed snowflakes while others draw simple interpreta - tions of a snowflake. I also provide the book Snowflakes: Creative Paper Cutouts by Cindy Higham for students to look through. The final scenes are exhibited with the paper snowflakes. All of my first- grade students seem to enjoy this les- son and they really capture the colors and spirit of winter! Stephanie Brooks has taught art for more than fifteen years in both public and pri- vate schools. svbrooks1@ gmail.com N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K www.goodreads.com/book/ show/7310036-snowflakes I wanted to introduce a pla ful winter art project that included students' interests into the art curriculum.

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