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Winter Bears in the Snow

Create a torn and cut paper collage of a Brown Bear in Winter, using printmaking to create falling snow.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. During a unit of study focused on the winter season, have students look at images and read picture books focused on bears. Discuss not only how they look (color and shape) but also their habitats, food, where they live (using maps) and hibernation. Explain that hibernation is a five step process during which bears eat and drink to store up reserves, their body slows down (metabolic rate) and sleep as little as five months or as long as seven! Some bears may actually wake up during the winter to forage for more food and then return to their den to continue hibernating.
    2. Use a variety of print sources to compare how these bears look similar and different to polar bears. There are websites, as well as online videos, that show the hibernation process with bears sleeping in their dens.
    3. Return student attention to images of bears. Discuss the geometric shapes that could be used to draw these mammals. Provide time for students to practice putting shapes together to create a bear figure.
    4. Distribute white construction paper and Crayola® Blunt-Tip Scissors to students. Demonstrate how you want children to tear the paper in half creating a soft, irregular edge. Each child will glue these torn pieces of construction paper to a piece of dark blue paper, thus creating a snowy ground and horizon line.
    5. Students use Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils to draw geometric shapes to create the figure of a bear (such as a large oval for the body, rectangles for legs, circle for head, small oval for nose, small circles for ears and a small oval for the tail). Some students may wish to add a cub to the scene.
    6. Encourage students to add texture to their work by using Crayola Construction Paper Crayons.
    7. Assist students with assembling their shapes into bear figures. Glue these shapes to snowy background.
    8. Using Crayola White Washable Tempera and corks, or other small round gadgets, to print large snowflakes in the sky. Allow time for paint to dry.
    9. Display student artwork in the classroom and allow time in the school day for small groups of students to talk about their work.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

    LA: Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

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

    LA: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

    MATH: Identify and describe shapes.

    MATH: Analyze, compare, create and compose shapes.

    SCI: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

    SCI: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

    SCI: Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.

    VA: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

    VA: Refine and complete artistic work.

    VA: Identify connections between art and concepts from other disciplines, such as math, science, language arts, social studies, and other arts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Why Do Bears Sleep All Winter by Jane Duden; Honey Paw and Lightfoot by Jonathan London; Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming; The Fascinating World of Bears by Maria Angels Juivert.

    Students use their artwork as starting points for writing a story, a research project, or both to create a book of fiction and non-fiction text.

    Host a ‘Bear” picnic and snack on berries, fruit, nuts and other things a bear may eat while preparing for hibernation.

    Make paper bag bear puppets and have children act out the steps for hibernation (food gathering, digging a den, slowing down, sleeping, waking and then taking as long as 2 weeks to be fully alert as their body metabolism increases).


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