The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a perennial favorite in art rooms. The text is simple yet 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.
To 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.
To 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 perfect 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.
Now 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 the 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.
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!
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.
First in Maine
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.
That was so fun making arts!
Those arts are really beautiful I love to try this at home.
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/
I can’t wait to try this with my class! Thank you so much for the inspiration.
Do you think that the mod podge can be painted over the background at the end (when adding in the sparkles for snow cover)? I am just trying to figure out how to minimize the time waiting for the mod podge to dry. We only have an hour to do the project.
Yes…brilliant! Experiment first and see if it’ll work for your class.
I love it! What a cute idea especially considering we have a lot of snow here in Ontario! I just wondered if you could send me some instructions for drawing the people? Thanks so much! Enjoy the warmth in California!
Please send me the “The Snowy Day ” Project lesson plan I am a member, it wasn’t in the download of 5 Non religious projects? Thank you!! Love your lesson and so do my students!!
Thank you I’m so glad to hear that! Unfortunately, this project does not have a full download/lesson plan. All the directions are provided for you in the blog post. If you have any specific questions about the project you can ask me here
-Hannah (Team Sparkle)
This is so cool LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!💖🧡💛💚💙💜💟💞💝💓💘💕🌹😍