Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chris Van Allsburg

We did this art project on Thursday. Instead of painting a winter scene on watercolor paper, I had the students use a pale purple background paper and oil pastels. The paper was sort of the color of the Crayola "Thistle" from the 128 box -- my favorite color of them all when I was a kid -- oh, and by the way, was I the ONLY one who alphabetized their crayons???

I had my students draw a nighttime winter city scene. Then we cut out the windows from the buildings and glued pieces of golden yellow paper behind so that light would shine out of the windows (the way it shines in contrast to the dark scenes in the book). Finally, it was cotton swabs and silver paint for the snowflakes. All in all, a very successful project. And it was interesting to hear my students reacting to the book -- not all of them believe in Santa anymore. But they were all mesmerized. I had always thought this book was rather a dud, but I only read it as an adult and had never once read it to a roomful of children. Boy does that make a difference with some books. They leap to life.

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