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Marianne Galyk's 4th Graders

Level: Junior
Grades: 3-5 | Age: 8-11yrs | Written by: Rebecca Engelman
[Rebecca is an art educator at Cathedral School in Bismarck, ND.]

Students will learn how to paint snow-covered trees.

What You Need:
What You Do:

If possible, take students outside after a snowfall to observe how the snow sits on the upper side of the tree branches. Students should also observe how the tree is thick at the base (their own legs and stomachs),divides into smaller branches (like their arms), and then split again into smaller twigs (their fingers).

  1. Have students choose a shade of blue paper for their background.
  2. Students draw trees on their blue paper starting at the bottom of the tree.
    • Use a brown crayon and press hard.
    • Make the branches reach towards the sky.
    • Make sure that branches get smaller as they divide.
    • Select another shade of brown crayon and layer it over the first brown. (Gives the tree a sense of texture)

  3. Use thick white tempera to paint snow on the top-side of the branches.
  4. Add snow to the ground, around the tree.
  5. You may use an old toothbrush dipped in white paint to spatter snowflakes on the background.
  6. Quickly sprinkle white glitter on the wet tempera paint to make the "snow" glisten.


I am an elementary art teacher at Ridgemont Elementary School in Mt. Victory, Ohio. My fourth grade class recently completed your project "Winter Wonderland" which I found on the KinderArt website (with slight variations; we used pastel to highlight the sky area before we drew our trees and we skipped the glitter because we were out of it!). Let me say that it was a complete success! When I hung these artworks on the wall of our cafeteria in January, everyone raved about them! No one could believe that they had been done by 4th graders. The class has been so proud of their project and pleased with all the compliments they have received (and so have I). Thanks so much for your idea.

~Marianne Galyk (See the work from Marianne's 4th graders at the top of this lesson.)

Recommended Books/Products:

Drawing with Children
A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too

by Mona Brookes
Founded on the belief that any child can learn to draw realistic pictures using her "alphabet of shapes" while in a noncompetitive environment, Mona Brookes' easy-to-follow, lesson-by-lesson approach to drawing has yielded astounding results with children of all ages.

My Very Favorite Art Book: I Love to Paint!
Creating with strings, fingers, rollers, straws, and other super techniques: no wonder this entry in Lark's fabulous new art series will have kids saying "I love to paint!"

Painting with Children
Painting with Children contains sections on the "moral effects of color," the experience of colors, preparation, color stories and poems, panting with plant colors, painting the moods and seasons of nature, and much more.

The Science Book of Color
by Neil Ardley
This book explains the principles of color and gives instructions for a variety of simple experiments.

My First Paint Book
by Dawn Sirett
Twenty-two activities, from stenciled boxes to T-shirt designs, are presented along with step-by-step, full-color photographs and clear instructions, in a visual introduction to making and decorating things with paint.

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