The Snowy Day Art Project

A-Snowy-Day

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a perennial favorite in art rooms. The text is simple yet it easily brings round memories of my childhood days in Atlantic Canada; cold, raw and filled with possibilities. My Southern California students have very little, if not any, experiences with snow. A few have gone on ski trips but I suspect that might be the extent of it. Still, with the help of this book, I show them that it is not always possible to wear shorts year round.

A-Snowy-Day-Art-LessonTo create the background that looks pretty darn close to the book illustrations, place a small container of chalk pastel (blues, turquoise, purple and pinks) and a sheet of 12″ x 18″ white sulphite (construction/drawing paper) on the tables. Children can choose as many or as few colors as they wish and smear the entire surface with chalk.

A-Snowy-Day-Art-Lesson-snowflakesTo prevent the chalk from rubbing off and to add a glossy sheen, paint over entire surface with Mod Podge. Use colored sheets of light-weight paper (card stock and construction paper is too heavy) and make paper snowflakes using any traditional method you prefer. I used tissue paper for the snowflakes and although it is a prefect paper, the colors I chose ended up being much too light and disappeared into the chalk background. My suggestion is to either use a regular copy paper or a darker colored tissue paper.

A-snowy-day-art-lesson-2Now that the background is done (and this alone is a beautiful art project), I set out trays of paper scraps plus white for snow drifts and showed the children how to draw and then cut figures playing in the snow. I emphasized simple figures. The instructions were to put the glue on the pastel or marked side of the figures, but many kids forgot that step. No worries…still looked great!

Having done this lesson before as well as other landscape type collage art projects, I knew children typically glue pieces along the outside edges instead of starting at the center and moving outwards. I made a point of asking the children to glue the snow drifts first and glue figures towards the middle of then picture and move outwards. Some accomplished this, but most reverted back to the mystery of the outside edge. Does anyone know why children are prone to doing this?

The final step is to cast a shimmery snowfall over the entire picture. Children used Mod Podge to apply the shimmering glitter to specific areas.

A-Snowy-Day-Art-project

4 comments

  1. These are amazing. When I was teaching 1st grade, I constantly did your projects. I can’t wait to get in a classroom to do this one.

    I haven’t been here for a while and I have missed reading your posts! I just added you to my regular feed. Looking forward to it.

    Kimberley
    First in Maine

  2. Laura Dodson says:

    As a child, there were several authors that I seemed to gravitate towards and Ezra Jack Keats was one. I had all of his books, loved his illos, and The Snowy Day is my favorite.

    I think Esphyr Slobodinka’s Caps for Sale would be a fun project, too. I have read it to my art classes. Maybe it’s time to do some black line drawings with splashes of color.

  3. Maris King says:

    That was so fun making arts!
    Those arts are really beautiful I love to try this at home.
    Thanks!

  4. [...] to wake up before him and in enough time to mostly complete this project with the girls.  Please, do visit Deep Space Sparkle for the nitty-gritty of how to do this fun [...]

  5. My children and I did this activity last week. Here’s how it turned out: http://www.hopeisthewordblog.com/2013/02/23/the-snowy-day-inspired-art/

  6. [...] An art project for the book The Snowy Day [...]

  7. […] Art project adapted from Deep Space Sparkle […]

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About Patty

Welcome to DSS. I'm an art teacher to 400 elementary kids in Goleta, California. This is where you will find a library of art lessons, handy PDF lesson plans and resources to make teaching art to kids a whole lot easier.
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