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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I n Canada, the winters are cold and the ground is covered in snow, but the sun is usually shining. Strong shadows are created by the sun play - ing off and through solid objects such as trees and freshly fallen snow. These shadows are cast onto a variety of surfaces, from buildings to sidewalks, but when shadows are cast onto the snow from bare trees, it creates sharply defined, contrasting forms. Discussing Shadow I talked with my young students about these shadows (a fresh sheet of snow had fallen overnight). We discussed how the snow acts like a canvas for the shadows created by the trees. I shared a few examples of artists who work with black-and- white forms to introduce the idea of positive and negative space. We then went outside to the school's recess yard to observe the shadows up close. Searching for Shadows Students each brought a flat sur- face, such as a thick piece of card- board or drawing board, with a sheet of manila paper attached. They walked around in the area between the trees and snow to search for an interesting shadow. The only criteria I set was that the shadow had to touch the edge of their paper at least three times. Students enjoyed being outside and seeing something that they walk by every day in a new way. Some students approached a single tree, searching for the right shape. It was a process of experimentation, as they had to adjust their boards to prevent from blocking the shadow with their bodies. Holding the board in the air and not putting it down onto the snow also made it a challenge for students to hold the board steady SHADOWS ON Aileen Pugliese Castro SNOW 34 JANUARY 2018 SchoolArts E L E M E N T A R Y

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