Thursday, December 3, 2009

4th and 5th Grade Snowpersons

From the names on these pictures I can tell we did these projects in 2007 and 2008. I thought that maybe the kids would see the activity as "too young." Some did. But many really enjoyed it did a great job. Others just didn't seem to get into it. I thought of it as a break from the more difficult things I had them do prior to this lesson. It's another one of those optional workshop activities to keep in the file box. I'll probably keep a version of it with that purpose in mind.

The Three Snowpersons project: Some kids took a lot of time and it seemed to take forever to finish. As I recall, they were a very talkative groups. My experience is that kids that chat during art don't complete a lot during the 45 minutes. That's why I now use the Seven Minuet Rule. (from a previous blog entry)

[I start day one with my "seven minute rule." I've written on this elsewhere on this blog but I'll briefly repeat it here. I use a timer, projected on the overhead screen, and expect the students to work for a full seven minutes with no talking. When the seven minutes is up, I set the timer to three minutes and allow students to use one of those minutes to stretch and rest their hand (and head) and then to continue to work but quiet talking and sharing is allowed. After the three minutes is up, I repeat the process. First, seven minutes of quiet work, followed by three minutes of a more relaxed time. Also, toward the end of the class time, I allow for quiet talking and encourage the sharing of work.]

The Single Snowperson project: Again, many kids did a great job while others didn't put much quality effort into designing their snowpersons. I was a bit surprised. I thought they'd really have a ball playing with this activity. Many did. But maybe not enough to call it a keeper at this grade level. I've posted a gallery of work where I put both the 4th grade work and the 5th grade work.

The procedure I followed for this lesson differs only slightly from the procedure I used with the primary grades. I still modeled the white painting process. We used wide brushes and I showed the kids how to use them to make their round circles by using the brush in a spiral motion. In one twist they could form each section. They did think that was pretty cool. I show some examples and then set them loose.

See the gallery pictures here. ;)


  1. The 7 minute silence followed by 3 minutes of social interaction is probably a nice rule of thumb for much of what we do in school.

  2. It seems to be working well for me. I get more actual work out of the kids and they also use their "talking time" more productively. They are encouraged to share their ideas and ask questions about their tablemate's artwork. It's not an exact science, even during the 7 minutes of silence I have to remind kids not to talk. But for the most part, it's been a successful strategy for me.