I really wanted to start with creating sketchbooks and a little drawing and maybe some chalk, similar to the way that we created the sloths earlier in the fall. I decided to combine the two ideas.
Students could select any animal that either lived where it is cold, or spent the winter hunting, for the most part. I was pretty lenient and also let them choose pets. I only really limited the 'winter' part because I wanted them to use a snow technique, and I also wanted to have plenty of visuals....and stay away from reptiles as the blending techniques we would be using wouldn't work as well on scales as they would on fur and feathers.
Anyway, we spent the first day creating practice drawings in our sketchbooks. I told them they could make the animal wearing cute hats, scarves, and ear muffs if desired. Some did, some did not.
Then we began the project by drawing with fat black crayons on 12X18 black paper. Some students struggled with the fact that they could not 'erase' the black crayon, even though I told them to draw lightly and we would be able to flip it over or color over mistakes. This was stressful for some kids. Next year, I want to use gray chalk for this step. Black is a little too messy, but I think gray would be perfect.
Next, we started by coloring anything we wanted white. Especially animals with a lot of white, and anything that was supposed to be snowy.
Also, we created a colorful blended aurora borealis inspired sky. This was a great chance to practice color blending. I loved playing an aurora video while they were working, and it gave them ideas on how they could vary the colors. I gave them a bowl with JUST cool colors (plus hot pink and lime green) chalk so they could really incorporate lots of cool colors. Also, I wanted them to create a different sky other than plain blue with a sun in the corner.
Finally, if students wanted, we sprayed a fine mist of white paint over the background. I tried to mask off the animal a bit so that we wouldn't cover their work. I also asked them if they wanted it to look more like stars, and only be in the sky or if they were okay with it being sprayed everywhere like a snowy look. They were happy with the results and there was a ton of variety!!
Next time, I think I will trim their papers down a little before we start the project so that we can create a frame around them. I think the big display is missing something.