Monday, December 14, 2015

Snowflake Bentley: Winter Craft

4 more days, 4 more days I can make it...I hope. There are only 4 days standing between me and winter break and I can. not. wait. This week I am trying to do some fun and engaging activities to keep my kiddos learning, but having fun too, I mean its the holiday season after all. 
Today we integrated art and reading to create wonderful art pieces to go along with the book "Snowflake Bentley" by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. 

If you haven't read this book, it is a must. It is really unique is so many ways. The book can be used as fiction and non-fiction if you read it in different ways. For this lesson I read the book twice, once just reading the story of Snowflake Bentley for my students to make visualizations. I read the book a second time to read factual information about Snowflake Bentley and his amazing snow photographs. 

For this lesson I was really focusing on the standard below. We have been working on this standard for a week now and I really wanted to allow my students to have the chance to create their own multimedia. 

While I read the book, my students sketched out their visualizations and the evidence from the text that supported that visualization. We discussed what they visualized, what colors they saw and the tone of the text. My students then sketched out what multi-media they would add to the text in their reading notebooks for some pre-planning. 

Since this lesson was meant to be a connection between art and reading we discussed color choice and how that affected the tone of the art piece. We first used crayons to draw our snowflakes or images on plain computer paper. Students knew that the wax from the crayons would resist the paint and therefore the snowflakes would be the focal point of the artwork. 

After students had their artwork drawn with crayon they used water color paints to cover the entire paper. I bought some liquid water color a few years ago and have used it several times. I highly recommend purchasing liquid water color because its easy to use and lasts so much longer than regal water color. 

The kids loved this activity and I was impressed on how they turned out. One thing I would change if doing this in the future would be to not use white crayons, we though that it would show up nicely after we painted our paper, but grey or black seemed to work much better. 

If you are looking for a quick, little prep activity to get you through the holidays this is a winner! My kids loved it and it make a easy winter bulletin board! What have you been doing to make it through the holidays?

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