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Monday, May 9, 2011

4th Grade Winter Trees

    I know I am posting this past winter (at least it is way past it here in Texas!), but, in some parts of the world, this may still be relevant.  I wanted to do a poetry/art lesson with my fourth grade students this year, one that tied together nature poetry about winter and and a winter landscape painting.  So, I chose a poem by a favorite American naturalist poet, Robert Frost, entitled "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening".  I found a website that has recordings and animated videos of poems, so we listened to the illustrated poem to begin our lesson.  We discussed the poem and the way it made us feel and what we visualized as we were listening.   Then we sketched winter trees, to get a feeling for what a tree looks like with bare branches.
    Next, we made a watercolor background with a blue wash and salt technique that gave it an effect of a snowy winter sky/ground.  The next art class we had, we painted our trees on top of our background with black ink.  I instructed the students to make horizontal strokes of the brush across the ground and not to paint it all in, the effect was a snowy ground with shadows.  Perspective was used in painting the trees, first larger at the foreground then gradually getting smaller as they became closer to the horizon line.  These paintings turned out beautiful.  Robert Frost would be proud!

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