Joy of Teaching--Day 4 Winter Writing Projects

One summer I heard a speaker say, "Is it cute, or does it count?" Meaning, is that activity actually helping the kids LEARN something. Since then, I've cut back on the "artsy/craftsy" activities in my room. Posters, mobiles, dioramas, etc only get made IF they truly reflect actual LEARNING,

BUT,
once a year,
right after Christmas vacation when the kids are dreading having to go BACK to school after all of that FUN,
I like to throw in this winter writing project.
The writing is fun, but it's really the ILLUSTRATING that takes center stage.

I leave the writing as an almost totally WIDE open project.
What does it have to be about? WINTER.
What type of writing? YOUR CHOICE.
How long does it have to be? YOUR CHOICE.
Can it be just a paragraph? SURE.
Can it be four pages? YOU BET.
Can it be fantasy? THAT WOULD BE COOL!
Can it be about what I did on our snow day? I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW YOU SPENT THAT DAY!

You get the picture.

THEN...
the illustration.
Long blue construction paper is the background.
Using a long strip or two of white construction create a foreground of snow.
Using scraps of colored construction create a collage style picture using markers only MINIMALLY if absolutely necessary.

AND THE BEST PART?
PUFFY PAINT SNOW!
I call it a "secret recipe" In a one or two cup container mix shaving cream and glue. Don't worry about measuring. You can't screw it up. That mixture will be soft at first, but will harden (actually it turns out just kind of soft and slightly squishy). I use popsicle sticks to stir and to apply it to the picture.

One of my favorite "cute" activities (with some "meat" in the writing part of it) and the kids LOVE it!
My joyful moment of the day! :-) I SO love my job!

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