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Winter in the City

Create a mixed media winter cityscape street scene focused on the idea of top/bottom, above/below as snow is painted on rooftops and windowsills.

  • Kindergarten
    Pre-Kindergarten
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. During a unit of study focused on winter weather and our surrounding world, discuss how our environment changes when the weather changes, especially snowy days. Read and review books illustrating seasonal changes. Look at and discuss artworks/prints showing a variety of seasons of the year and the observable changes. Ask students to think about HOW the artist shows the difference between the seasons, especially winter.
    2. Read books on winter with an “artists’ eye”, pointing out that when snow falls it lands on TOP of roofs, TOP of trees, TOP of fences. Notice that on snowy days, small drifts collect on the window sills and tops of things. Point out the difference between TOP/BOTTOM, ABOVE/BELOW and revisit the artworks and book illustrations.
    3. Look at artworks and photographs noting the difference between LANDscape and CITYscape. Look and discuss artworks showing land and cityscapes. Notice that whether in or out of the city, snow still falls on TOP of things in the environment.
    4. Provide students with Crayola© Erasable Colored Pencils and white construction paper. Ask students to write/draw their observations using the art supplies provided. Compare and contrast pictures of the various seasons.
    5. To create Winter Cityscapes, provide students with pastel colored paper (light blue, lavender, gray) and Erasable Colored Pencils. Ask students to draw a horizontal line to represent the street.
    6. Ask children to fill their streets with geometric shapes such as rectangular shaped buildings; triangle and semi-circle roofs; square and rectangular windows and doors; etc. Remind them to make sure the buildings touch. (Note: Boxes, blocks, and cardboard shapes can be used as patterns to trace to ensure geometric shapes to build fine motor skills.)
    7. Invite students to color everything with Construction Paper Crayons except the street and the rooftops.
    8. Cover student workspace with recycled newspaper when they are finished coloring. Using Washable White Tempera paint, students paint the street, rooftops, treetops, fences, and windowsills. Students may even mimic the snow by painting the snow ‘falling’ to emphasize the idea that it lands on the TOP of things. Allow paint to dry.
    9. Ask students to use Washable Markers (thick and fine line) to outline buildings, snowdrifts, streets, etc.
    10. Post student artwork in the classroom.
  • Standards

    LA: With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

    LA: Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

    LA: With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).

    LA: Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.

    MATH: Identify and describe shapes.

    MATH: Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.

    SS: Describe and speculate about physical system changes, such as seasons, climate and weather, and the water cycle.

    SCI: Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

    VA: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

    VA: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

    VA: Refine and complete artistic work.

    VA: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art. VA: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art. VA: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art. VA: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

  • Adaptations

    Great books for discussion of this topic include: SNOW by Uri Shulevitz; BRAVE IRENE by William Steig; SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Mary Azarian; SNOW, SNOW, SNOW by Lee Harper; DREAM SNOW by Eric Carle

    Students use their paintings as starting points for writing an original story.

    Display the artworks in one continuous line, connecting the streets to create a long city street. Ask students to verbalize what they see happening as they ‘travel’ along the streets.

    Collaborate with the entire class to write a story, or a ‘winter tale’ of many blocks. Combine to create a book.

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