Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Family

To say my mom likes Snowmen would be an understatement.

Christmas decoration in my house consist of LOTS of snowmen. The best part about the snowmen collection, was, even though the tree and nativity get put away in January, the Snowmen sometimes make it all the way into February! Recently, Momma Mel has been getting restless and started packing them up sometime in January, but there's still hope...

I decided to do some snowmen projects with my students. I didn't quite get all our fall-themed projects finished in time for appropriate display around school. At least if these projects were Winter, and not specific to Christmas, they could be displayed in January and February!

I found this book in the library called Snow Family. Not a classic, but it's cute and rhyming! Who doesn't love a rhyming book? So fun to read aloud!

The concept is that this little boy's parents take care of him, tie his scarf, kiss his cheek, and put him to bed at night. Yet all the Snow Kids have no parents to take care of them! They run around the fields, laughing and playing, but lose a mitten here, a boot there...

After running around the woods with the Snow Kids, the boy decides he needs to make them a Snow Mom and Dad to take care of the Snow Kids!

We read the book one week and then started the drawings. A small part of our last project was with oil pastel, so this drawing continued their exploration of the medium. The last project was on white paper, emphasizing the oil/water resist possibilities with oil pastel and watercolor. This time, we focused on their opacity---being able to color white, yellow, pink on DARK BLUE PAPER! Working with oil pastels is like doing a magic trick with crayons to these kids!

I told the first graders they were to draw their whole family as snowpeople. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, pets. Anyone in their family!

How would we be able to tell who was the Mom and who was the Dad? What they're wearing, what size they are, and some of the kids took it upon themselves to label their snowpeople...

This week was their second and final day of the project. Just a quick exploration of symbolism and oil pastels. Here are some of the results!

I like to call this one The Pilgrim Snowmen. Especially before he colored the hats in with light blue, these snowmen looked like they were ready for a Thanksgiving feast! It's hard to tell, but the guy on the right has a gold buckle on his hat! This boy's family is actually 5 people. Notice the two smaller snowmen in the background. Dad's the one wearing a Santa hat, and does the guy in the middle have a sheriff's badge?

These snowmen are "country folk." A little cowboy hat and vest? Mom's wearing a sweet straw hat with a flower attached. The cloud of action on the right represents the three siblings. "We're fighting" she told me. Notice how she labeled the boys with their names and a blue heart, and the girls with pink names and hearts!

To continue the trend of fighting, this girl told me her mommy and daddy were on one team, she was on the other, and they were throwing snowballs at each other! To be fair, there was a snowball fight in the book. Look at her mom's eyelashes! I told her I can tell how beautiful her mom is because of her pretty eyes!

Here's your last snow family picture. This is actually a stop-action movie, all on one page. Early animation! The first thing he animated was the sun. It's actually just one sun, he told me, not three. The arrows show how it moves across the sky. The green under the white along the bottom of the page is the grass, as the sun melts the snow. Then he added an arrow from his snowman into the house. He told me he was only dressed up as a snowman, then he took off his costume and walked up the stairs. The last bit of animation---the fireplace with the smoke going up and out the chimney!

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