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Old Bear's Seasons

After reading Old Bear by Kevin Henkes, students are inspired to create beautiful seasonal scenes with lots of line and detail using Crayola® Classic Markers.

  • Grade 2
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Read Old Bear by Kevin Henkes. Discuss the book as a class. Who was the main character? What were the different times of year (seasons) he dreamt about? How did the author create the art for his book? What did the students notice about the illustrations (everything outlined in a season appropriate color, variation of width and length and type of lines, lots of detail)?
    2. Breaking students into 4 small groups, assign each group a season. Have students brainstorm all their favorite things, general items that relate specifically to that season. Share student responses from all groups.
    3. Distribute white paper and pencils. Have students lightly sketch a picture which depicts their favorite season. Like Kevin Henkes, their images should include Old Bear and many items (3 or more) relevant to the season chosen. Encourage good composition and have students fill their page with detail using a repetition of images.
    4. When students are close to finishing their sketches, stop them and remind them how Kevin Henkes used line in his illustrations, lots of variety and everything outlined with ONE season appropriate color. Discuss different types of line (wide, thin, short, long, curved, straight, etc.) and colors (warm, cool).
    5. Hand out Crayola Classic Markers. When students have completed sketching, have them cover all of their pencil lines with one season appropriate color using a variety of lines.
    6. When student marker outlining is complete, hand out Crayola Crayons. Invite students to completely fill in their images with appropriate color.
    7. When images are complete, students create a recording which describes their scene using Henkes’ format “Old Bear dreamed he was in (season)…”
  • Standards

    LA: Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

    LA: Create audio recordings of stories or poems: add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

    SCI: Read texts and use media to determine patterns of behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.

    SCI: Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animal (including humans) and the places they live.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas.

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

    VA: Understand there are various purposes for creating works of art.

  • Adaptations

    Read other books that discuss the seasons and how plants and animals survive them such as Red Sings from Treetops by Joyce Sidman, Skip through the Seasons by Stella Blackstone, A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston, In the Small, Small, Pond by Denise Fleming, What do Animals do in Winter? by Melvin and Gilda Berger. Consider a mix of fictional and non-fictional texts. Compare and contrast texts, reasons for writing, types of illustrations, etc.

    After reading Old Bear and Math for All Seasons by Greg Tang, have students write their own simple math problems for Old Bear based on the illustrations in Henkes’ book or their own artwork made in response to Old Bear. (i.e. If the tree still has 5 leaves and there are 4 floating in the air, how many leaves still need to hit the ground?)

    Carry out a small research project on a plant or animal and use the information gathered to create a split diorama or diagram that illustrates the difference between how that plant or animal lives in summer vs. their survival in winter.


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