Based on the book, Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, kids learn how to paint perspective trees and draw hibernating animals

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Over & Under Winter Habitat Art Project

Based on the book, Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, kids learn how to paint perspective trees and draw hibernating animals

I don't know what it is about winter-themed books, but every year I come across a title that is perfect for the art room. Over and Under the Snow is a book that uncovers the "secret kingdom under the snow." Children are offered a glimpse of where animals go during the winter months and what their homes look like. The artwork is beautiful--ethereal, soft and filled with atmospheric perspective.

The Book: Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner with art by Christopher Silas Neal

I created this lesson for my third grade kids but because of the details involved, the project can be enjoyed and better executed by older kids. Heck, I LOVED doing this project. I created a detailed lesson plan for you that includes drawing steps for the winter animals making an appearance in the book. This offers kids lots of choice to pick and choose which animals they want to create.

Based on the book, Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, kids learn how to paint perspective trees and draw hibernating animals

Th project starts with making painted paper. I explain how to mix your own paint colors in the lesson plan in case you aren't sure how to replicate the beautiful colors in the book.

After the kids make the painted paper, they paint a winter landscape in 3 layers: sky, snow and under-the-snow. This is where they will place hibernating winter animals.

I loved how some children were able to infused their own personalities into their artwork. Some children foraged out the brightest of painted papers to create a colorful, happy mood, while others gravitated towards the darker shades. Such is life, right?

Aren't they beautiful? I love the colors and the sly foxes roaming the snowy earth.

Winter Landscapes by Third Graders

Winter Habitat art projects by third graders


Want more lesson ideas for the holidays? Download this free lesson guide by clicking the yellow button below and I'll send you my 5 Non-Religious Projects for the Holidays!

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  • Gloria Mathews

    Oh my goodness! I bought this book in November and thought, “I need to tell Patty about this book, I can just see a project in the making!” and here you are, sharing such a lovely project with us. Thank you!

    I am working on scaling this idea down for a 1st -2nd grade class. I’ll let you know if I am successful!

    Thanks Patty!

    • Patty Palmer

      So glad you thought of me. Isn’t the book divine? Yes, please let me know what you do with the little ones. Thanks, Gloria!

    • Jeankne

      Oh Gloria, Thank you for sharing because I have just purchased this package Also, to use with the younger ones! What I think is most helpful is the templates for drawing the animals. Please do come back and share a link if you get a chance to share something about your experience with little ones & this project! Thank you!

    • Jenni L

      Just wondering if anyone has ended up doing this with 1st or 2nd graders. I am thinking of trying with 1st graders and would love some tips. Thanks!

      • Patty

        Hi Jenni,
        I love this lesson for older students as it allows them to select their animals and draw from observation. But, this can be adapted for younger students by doing the following:
        1. Do the background as per instructions. 1st and 2nd graders will do very well with this.
        2. For the animals, either choose 1 animal to direct draw together OR use a coloring sheet and kids can color selected animals.
        The full lesson plan has handouts and drawing guides. If you’re a member of The Sparklers Club you can access this in the Winter Bundle.

  • 1earnscliff@gmail.com

    Where can I purchase the detailed plans for this lesson? Thanks.

  • 1earnscliff@gmail.com

    Where can I find the detailed lesson for this project?

  • ZEHRA

    please send us teh instructions, I would love to use them for my painting club .

  • Talia Ellett

    I am wondering how to access the over and under the snow lesson plan?

    Thanks!

  • Collette

    I love the over and under project. How do I access the lesson? Is it for purchase?

  • elizabeth uhren

    adore this!

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