I love when my kids get to show off their creativity. They always enjoy when we do any sort of craft project in class. After winter break, we shared our New Year's resolutions. I enjoyed hearing their goals for the upcoming year. This year, the conversation evolved into what the children want to do when they grow up. I took advantage of that teachable moment and started jotting down their ideas.
A Social Studies Brainstorming
After everyone shared what they wanted to do when they grew up, we connected the occupations to our social studies unit. Children began to sort the careers into categories. They discussed whether each job was more part of a service-related industry or is a goods-producing occupation. I loved hearing how specific they were when debating where to place each career. For example, someone mentioned that a scrapyard worker would go in the goods category since they provide machine parts. However, another student chimed in that the workers provide a service when they help put the parts into the machines. What a great conversation!
The Pinterest Craft Connection
I saw an idea on Pinterest where students make family portraits using snowman characters for each family member. I bookmarked the idea to try next winter. However, as I was driving home, I got the idea to change up this creative Pinterest project a bit and use it now. Instead of having students create their "Cool Family," I'd have them use the same concept but apply it to their recent New Year's and social studies discussion. I couldn't wait to start shopping for supplies.
The Materials to Make it Happen
I knew I had some of the supplies in my classroom, but I had to pop by the fabulous Joann Fabric and Craft Stores to pick up a few additional materials.
blue construction paper
Sharpies (variety of colors)
plastic, clear photo frames
white paint pen
Creating the Project
The children had so much fun doing this project. As soon as I took out the paint, they were ready to work. I love when they get the opportunity to work with different media in class. As much as I enjoy writing workshop (pencils) and digital workstations (technology), it is so nice bringing in different tools (like paint) for the students to work with as they create and share.
Step 1 — Preparing the Workspace:
Put a small amount (around 2 teaspoons) of white paint on a paper plate for each child. (Make sure each student has a placemat under their painting area.) We shared paint brushes. I placed one paint brush in between every two children. Each child received a pre-cut piece of blue construction paper. We used an index card as a template to make sure our sizing was accurate for the blue paper to fit in each frame.
Step 2 — Paint:
Children rolled their fingers in the paint, then rolled the paint onto the blue paper. Some children chose to only use their paintbrush, painting the snowman with their brush instead of their finger. With the leftover paint (on the brush or their finger), the children smeared a bed of snow along the bottom of the paper. Finally, they finished it off by splattering paint onto the paper with their brushes. Some chose to have more snow than others.
Step 3 — Let it Dry:
We placed their wet papers on a flat surface to dry. Then we placed the papers into the frames.
Step 4 — Color and Design:
After the papers were dry and placed in the plastic frames, I used a white paint pen to write, "When I Grow Up" on the top of each frame. Under that title, I wrote the career for each child. They were so happy to color their snowman to look like their future professions.
Provide a variety of permanent markers. Allow the children to decorate and design their snowman.
Step 5 — Enjoy the Individual Creativity:
I love when projects are all different. Their snowmen turned out so cute. You can truly see their personalities shine through each craft. This project only took about thirty minutes over two days, for a total time of about one hour. How fun! Plus, it was affordable and easy!
See more great winter craft ideas from Top Teaching Blogger Genia Connell: