To start off their winter unit, my Kindergarteners read a book along with my 1st graders called “Snowmen All Year”. The book emphasizes how much fun it would be to have a snowman all year. Personally, it sets up a great conversation with students about what happens to snow when it gets hot and how other parts of weather can effect our snowmen. We start to brainstorm about what our snowmen would do and begin starting our project.
To start, I have students discuss how when we look outside we see the ground and right away we see the sky if we look in the distance. This introduces horizon line and we draw one straight across our page – I am using blue construction paper but it doesn’t matter; it also doesn’t matter what direction the paper sits because it still ends up working.
Then, we talk about texture. How snow feels – looks – and how we could describe it. Soft, fluffy, white! I ask students if we painted the snow and it dried, would it be very soft? Well no! So we get out cotton balls and talk about how soft they can be. Using the cotton balls we tear them apart and start gluing the pieces to one side of our line, filling up the whole space. This is a great exercise for students to practice pasting carefully – the cotton grabs a lot of glue and causes quite a mess…it pushes students to have a little more control over their hands. They begin pasting the cotton down and inevitably, students want to use whole cotton balls which would be okay but it does go through your cotton quickly so it’s up to you. I also enjoy the look of the torn up cotton compared to little balls. This takes a period – for me, possibly two just because I only have them for 20 minutes. Next time we will create snow flake and use model magic to practice circles, sizes and placement.
Note: Students always want to wash their hands, especially at this age. It’s nice with glue because you can just have them rub their hands together to dry the glue faster and then peel it off. It saves a full 5-6 minutes of hand washing. And plus, you wouldn’t be very artsy if you weren’t a messy afterwards.