• supporting creativity in the classroom and beyond •

• supporting creativity in the classroom and beyond •

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

snowmen with personality

In a second grade class where my job was to teach art all morning, I read the book The Biggest, Best Snowman Ever. After a short discussion about the story, I told the students they were going to make a torn paper collage of a snowman so big that the only thing they'd be able to see was part of the face. Then I proceeded to have them show me some facial expressions.... happy.... sad.... angry.... surprised.... shocked.... thoughtful.... etc.... and I drew some quick expressions on the board, the way they might look on a snowman's face (with "coal" eyes and mouth).

I showed students how to tear out the side of a snowman's head out of white paper, leaving the corner intact, and then gluing it onto a blue paper so that the corners lined up. Then I asked them to create a snowman face with a "carrot" nose and "coal" for eyes and the mouth... and to be sure to show some kind of interesting facial expression on their snowman.

I suggested that they tear out all the parts first and arrange them how they like them before they glue anything down. Most of the students followed these directions. Not all, but most. The hardest part of this collage activity is the initial tearing of the head shape. I showed students how to measure a finger length from the top left corner of the paper, and a finger length from the bottom right corner of the paper, put dots at those points, then tear a head shape that begins and ends at those dots. Just a couple of students still had trouble getting a workable head shape; for those students, I drew a very faint pencil line for the head shape and had them tear on the line.

This is a simple activity, using only 9x12 construction paper and glue, that requires some fine motor coordination, some eye-hand coordination, a little patience, and a little creativity and imagination. As students worked, I wandered around and asked what facial expression they were creating on their snowman. For hats, I had students just look for any color construction paper from the scrap bin. One student chose the same blue as the background for the hat, so I had him switch that out so we could actually see the hat.

When the snowmen faces were done, we lined them up on the white board tray and looked at each one individually. They definitely did show a wide variety of facial expressions!

Before they began their snowman faces, I had students create different facial expressions and drew them on the white board to show how changing the size of the eyes, the shape of the mouth, and direction of the eyebrows could give the snowman some personality.  

P.S. This lesson is available in my TeachersPayTeachers store. :-)

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