Monday, January 4, 2016

Would You Like to Shade a Snowman?

Minnesota is known for it winter weather, it's snow banks and snow days.  We embrace our winters with winter play. But this year... we were dreaming of a white Christmas.  We didn't get a good, stick on the ground, snowfall until December 26th.  This was very hard on the kids for sure. When all they are thinking about is making a snowman, you should make a snowman.  It was not my intent when I started this lesson planning to do snowman.  I'm teaching the students about tints and shade and showing form.  My plan was fruit, but sometimes the kids have to tell you what you are going to make... and they were screaming SNOWMEN!  We started with this collaborative project to learn the methods of blending with oil pastel. 

We needed one 6 by 6 inch colored paper, a white and a primary color oil pastel, and a scissors. 

Fold the paper in half and draw and fill a snowman.  I showed students how to blend and add layors.  They were instructed to do this 3 times and return to the carpet for more instruction. 

Before using the colored oil pastel I showed them how to add the shadow.  I explained where the sun was coming from and they were to add the color on the opposite side of the snowman.  It didn't matter if when they were blending they got out of line because they were going to be cutting the paper after (as shown in the image above).  They cut through both papers so that they have a shadow to add for their snowman.

I demoed how to place the shadow down.  I didn't give them the answer, I showed them these three positions for the shadow and they had to discuss what one they thought was correct.  These smarty pantes were able to pick it out and tell me why. The final step was to bring it to a large tag board where I had made lines for hills.  The students started a the top and worked their way down as a class. 

While the kids were glueing I showed the rest of the class how to play this fun dice game.  It was perfect right before break and I have heard that there was many families that had the honor of playing this game over the break.  

The goal of this lesson was to get the students to recognize shadow direction, learn how to create a form, and blend oil pastels.  The student atchieved all of this so while they were playing their game, I had one student add the eyes, one got all the noses and another for all the arms. The collaborative work is hanging in their classroom.


  1. I love all the fanciful colors!! Makes me smile to look at these little snowmen. Happy New Year!

    1. Awe. Thanks for taking the time to make a comment. I appreciate it!