Tag Archives: Patricia MacLauchlan

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Picture Books to Inspire Winter Art!

Happy New Year!  We are heading back to school SO early this year… and I believe it is going to be a long, cold, and snowy month ahead!  If you are looking for some creative ways to integrate some great winter picture books into your Art lessons, you may find some inspiration in this week’s Top 10 list!

1.Once Upon a Northern Night – Jean E. Pendziwol

Lovely, lyrical lullaby celebrating the magic and wonder of an icy winter night.  This book can inspire some lovely winter tree art.  I love this idea from First Palettte to use a marble and paint  inside an empty coffee cup to create the “snowy” effect!

Snowy Day Collage craft

2.  Cold Snap – Eileen Spinelli

A charming neighborly tale about a small town determined to beat the deep freeze. Great book for your unit on community and for making CONNECTIONS!  (Vancouver is in a deep freeze this winter!)

Add icicles to a simple cut-out house or tree art by applying white paint and letting it drip down.  Or use glue and glitter to create the icicles.  (Thicker paper or card stock works best.)  I found this lesson on a blog called Reading Confetti.

cold-snap

3.   The Mitten Tree – Candace Christiansen

Touching message and beautiful, wintery illustrations.  This is the story of one woman’s generous heart, giving back, and random acts of kindness.  Perfect for sharing with your students.  The purples and blue palette can inspire your students to create their own patterned mittens.

Image result for mitten tree art lessons

4. A Perfect Day – Carin Berger

One of my favorite winter picture books with gorgeous mixed media collage illustrations is the perfect inspiration for some snow-angel art!  Based on the book, students paint a snowy background, and create paper snow angels.  Read more about this lesson from Deep Space Sparkle.

snow-angels

5.  Snowmen At Night – Caralyn Buehner

This book is a huge favorite with so many students!  The frolicking rhyming text and vibrant illustrations are delightful to read over and over.  I love following the different snowmen through their adventures – such personalities!   Inspired by this book, have your students create an “arts and crafts” collage by first making a tissue paper background and then adding a mixed media snowman.  This is another great lesson from Deep Space Sparkle. 

Alternatively, here is a different lesson, based on the same book.

Image result for snowmen at night art projects
6.  Snowflakes Fall – Patricia Maclachlan

This book is a tribute to the community of Newtown, Connecticut, site of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and childhood home of illustrator Steven Kellog . The  falling snowflakes described in the poem celebrate life’s uniqueness, beauty, joy, fragility, sorrow and renewal. Handprint Snowflakes can be found at : healthymamainfo.com

7. Over and Under the Snow– Kate Messner

This delightful book takes you down into the “secret world” of animals who live under the snow.   I love the link to science and the way this book introduces readers to different habitats and behaviors of winter animals, both common and uncommon.

This book can really lend itself to a “layered” art project – sky, above the ground, and under the ground.  Another great lesson from Deep Space Sparkle.

Winter Habitat art projects by third graders

8. Old Bear – Kevin Henkes

Old bear is dreaming and reflecting on the cycle of his life and the cycle of the seasons, his home in the forest and the beauty of his world.  This is a wonderful book for early primary students learning about the seasons.  I love the illustrations in this book and they will certainly inspire some lovely “old bear” art!

On black construction paper, students make leaf prints to create their background. The “Old Bear” is painted on white painting paper, then textured and outlined with black paint.  To make the bear “pop” off the page, have students leave a small edge of white around the bear when cutting it out.  Once the bear is glued on, the white outline on the black background creates a snowy 3D effect.

Image result for old bear kevoin henkes art

9.  No Two Alike – Keith Baker

Another one of my favorite wintery books!  Two little red birds discover “no two snowflakes are alike” as they explore a snowy landscape together.    Sparse, rhyming text and gorgeous illustrations. This is a gentle, quiet book.

When I was younger, I loved borrowing “how to draw” books and learning the steps to draw animals.  While some think this type of art is too restrictive and confining, there is something quite satisfying about learning how to draw something accurately!  You can find a great step-by-step lesson on drawing cardinals at artprojectsforkids.org

draw a cardinal

Image result for cardinal bird art for kids

This layered art project begins with painting a background of sky and ground.  Birch trunks are glued on top of the dried background. HINT:  Space the trunks unevenly across the page and have some of them “leaning” in different directions.  Cardinal birds are painted on a separate paper and cut out when they are glued.  Last step is “fingerprint” snow flakes.

10.  Owl Moon – Jane Yolen

The sensations of walking in the moonlight on a cold, crisp winter night is captured beautifully in this classic story of a girl and her father who are searching for an owl in the woods on winter’s night.

 Light, shadows, contrast, perspective and lines are some of the artistic techniques that are highlighted in the gorgeous illustrations. I particularly love the way John Schoenherr plays with shadows on the snow in his illustrations.  I found this Torn Winter Tree art project on artprojectsforkids.com that would be a great lesson for grade 3 and up.

And this lesson from the same site called “Sharpie Winter Landscape“, using sharpie pens, also produces a dramatic winter moon effective.

Sharpie Winter Landscape

 Thanks for stopping by!  Hope that you found a lesson or two to try!

What is your favorite picture book inspired art lesson?

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Celebration Saturday – Snow, Gold Medal and RFTLOI Celebrations!

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I’m happy to be joining Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes and others to celebrate and appreciate the goodness of the past week.

Here are the things I’m celebrating this week:

1)  SNOWFALL –  We had a significant snowfall here in Vancouver – unusual for the Westcoast, particularly at this time of year.  The best part was that the snow did not turn to rain and wash away.  We enjoyed some sunny days with a lovely white blanket!  More snow  is expected next week so likely I will be doing another snow dance in my kitchen!  Even my 15 yr old got outside to enjoy some sledding and snowball fun with his friends!

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2) REPORT CARDS – Report cards are finished!  This is always a huge relief when all the comments and marks complete and handed in!  Hooray!

3) BOOK LAUNCH – This Tuesday, March 5th, Vancouver Kidsbooks will be hosting a book launch for my new book – Nonfiction Writing Power!  It should be a wonderful evening with family, friends and colleagues.  Will post more about this next week!

4) GOLD MEDAL GAME:  The men’s Olympic gold medal hockey game aired at 4 am our time – so we set our alarm and got up to watch.  Although it doesn’t look like my 3 boys are excited (photo below) – we were thrilled to win the gold medal!  It did feel a little anti-climactic after the Women’s gold medal game and the Men’s semi finals… and of course nothing can beat Sydney Crosby’s overtime goal to win gold in Vancouver in 2010!  We are proud of our Canadian hockey teams and all the athletes who kept us on the edge of our seats for 2 exciting weeks!

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4) READING FOR THE LOVE OF IT CONFERENCE – Last Thursday and Friday I attended the 38th Reading For the Love of It Conference in Toronto – the largest reading conference in Canada.  Close to 4000 teachers attend from across the country and the line up of speakers, authors and presenters each year is incredible.  I was honoured to be invited to present two sessions – one on Reading Power and the other on Writing Power.  The sessions went so well and I was overwhelmed by the positive response from everyone!  It was truly an experience I will never forget – and certainly one of my most “celebrated” moments of the year so far!

Below are my highlights and some photos from the conference:

  • Dinner with my publisher Mary Macchuisi from Pembroke, along with other Pembroke authors including;  Kathy Lundy, Larry Shwartz and David Booth.  Mary brought along a copy of my new book, Nonfiction Writing Power, which I got to see for the first time.  Always a thrill to see all your work complete!

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Mary and me with my new book Nonfiction Writing Power         Me with Pembroke author David Booth (my hero!)

  • A full house at my first session!  I wasn’t sure that very many people would come to my session, since this was my first visit to Toronto and most of my work is in on the west coast. It was exciting to see a great turnout at both of my sessions.   (Before I started, I took a photo of the keen crowd! )

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  • During my session on Writing Power – I was speaking about the difference between editing and revision and when I spoke about the fact that editors can do the editing but only the writer can do the revision because it is their “vision” – someone from the audience made a sound I couldn’t quite make out.  It turns out she had just experienced a huge “ah-ha moment” with her “outside voice”!  It was beautiful!

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  • Listening to illustrator Steven Kellog talk about his experience collaborating with Patricia McLachlan on Snowflakes Fall – the book written in honour of the children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary school.  Steven Kellog lived in a farm in Sandy Hook and his children went to that school.  It was a moving presentation – not a dry eye in the house.

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Steven Kellog signing my book.

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Meeting Jon Klassen – a most unassuming and humble and very young man!  And of course he wore a hat!  His presentation was on “words and the spaces between”.  LOVED it!    Here he is signing my book.

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  • Meeting my editor for the first time!  Kat Mototsune has been my editor for all four of my books.  She is AMAZING at what she does.  Because we live on opposite sides of the country, we have only corresponded through email.  At the Pembroke reception on Thursday night – I got to meet her for the first time!  What a thrill it was to sit and talk with her about her side of the publishing process.  And I now have a face to the name!  (for my next book!)

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  • Pembroke author Kathy Gould-Lundy (author of Creating Caring Classrooms and Teaching Fairly in and Unfair World as well as many other books) received a special award at the banquet dinner for her contribution to the conference over many years.  Kathy teaches in the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University.  She is smart, humble and kind and I adore her.  (in the photo is Kathy and her son on the right, me on the left and Stenhouse President Dan Tobin in the back)
  • My cousin lives in Toronto with his fiancé and their brand new baby.  I spent a few hours visiting them and meeting baby Oscar for the first time.  An added bonus to my amazing trip.  baby oscar

I had an amazing week, filled with many things to celebrate and be grateful for!  Thank you for reading my blog!

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