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In Hollis' Woods

Students work in groups to create a detailed diorama about the book Pictures of Hollis Woods.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Share the book, Pictures of Hollis Woods, by Patricia Reilly Giff with the class. It’s a story about a girl named Hollis Woods, who has spent her whole life in foster homes. Conduct a class discussion about Hollis’ life, her love of art and how her story is told through pictures.
    2. Working in small groups, students create a diorama depicting a scene from the book. Teams brainstorm diorama details, deciding which the pieces each student will create. Remind them to deliberately focus on the details. Using words and descriptions from the book, students create art without using words.
    3. Use a medium size recycled box to house the diorama. Cut and measure craft paper to cover the exterior of the box. Create the inside wall details inside the box using Crayola® Washable Markers, Colored Pencils, Crayons and Giant Marker and Watercolor Paper.
    4. Use Crayola Model Magic to created furniture and characters. Invite students to experiment with different ways to create color effects. Blend white and colored compound to create tints, or mix colors and black to make shades. Blend two primary colors (red, yellow, blue) together to produce a secondary hue (orange, green, violet). Create a marble effect by incompletely blending different colors. For multi-colored layers, flatten two or more pieces of Model Magic by hand or with a marker barrel. Make details with modeling tools and cut with Crayola Scissors.
    5. Glue pieces in place with a Crayola Glue Stick and Non-Drip School Glue.
    6. Each student in the group writes a paragraph describing the diorama and what they contributed to the diorama.
    7. Have each group present their diorama to the class. Display dioramas in classroom.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    MATH: Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    VA: Use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

    VA: Know how the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Classroom Resources: Pictures of Hollis Woods Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie on DVD

    Discuss the carvings that Josie made of her friends and family. Students make carvings of themselves and classmates using textured crayon rubbings or model magic.

    Students make a timeline of what they think are 12 significant life events in Hollis’ life. Students draw pictures for each of the 12 events on the timeline. On a separate piece of paper, students write a short description of each event on the timeline.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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