3rd Grade Winter Landscapes

Long overdue…another post!  3rd graders had a lot of fun over this winter creating a winter landscape (considering we lacked our usual snowy outdoors – not complaining). We went through a very simple process to make this happen.

1. Brainstorm: As a class, we brainstormed what came to mind when we hear the word “winter”.  As students talked with their table, I simply started making a list of all of their observations on the board.  From there, we brainstormed what we believed a landscape to be – again, writing their observations on the board.  Using the two brainstorming clouds, we developed our definition of what a winter landscape would be fairly easy.  This step is great for two reasons – it gives the students ownership over how they learn and it also helps them come up with ideas for the project.

2. Plan: Students were able to then plan out their winter landscape.  Each landscape has to include a focal point that would definitely make the viewer understand that it’s all about winter.  Ideas included sleds, snowmen, chimneys with smoke coming out, evergreen trees, igloos, ice patches, etc.  They sketched out their ideas.

3. Create: Students then created their winter landscape – the first step was creating the landscape.  They used the cool colors (we reviewed – and used liquid watercolors) to make the land and the warm colors (watercolor pencil) to create the background, making sure it was clear where the horizon was.  From there, students created their focal point on a separate piece of paper.  I kind of played the part by ear because I wanted students to have something unique (not just another painting) so they started by drawing it in pencil…and then in a weird twist, we used tissue paper to paint.  This came about because a student wanted to see what happened when they added water to the tissue paper (they had noticed it bled when glue was added to it).  Students enjoyed the effect so we simply used it for our project.  I didn’t limit students, either, to what colors they could use for their focal point but reminded them to think about what colors are associated with winter.  This created some REALLY neat effects – almost like a stained glass or mosaic vibe on the focal points.  Finally, students used black sharpie to add a little contrast to their original drawings, any detail they might want and some value.  They cut them out and pasted them on their landscape (great opportunity to talk about perspective).

The results turned out great – I think this lesson, after a few more changes, may be one for the vault.



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