ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space

In this 2-part lesson, students construct 2 triaramas to create a model that shows the habitat of a hibernating Canadian animal above and below the ground in winter. Next they use Crayola Air-Dry clay to sculpt the animal and place it in the setting.

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 2 to Grade 4

Subject

Language Arts
Mathematics
Science
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

background colour foreground form sculpture shape texture

Materials

Crayola Air-Dry Clay Crayola Washable Project Paint - 10 Count Crayola Paintbrushes - 5 Count Crayola Washable No-Run School Glue Crayola Scissors Crayola Construction Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Bristol Board - 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm (12" x 12") - 1 per student Paper Towel Rolls - ½ per student Water Containers Paper Towels Small Objects Found in Nature - Twigs, Acorns, Leaves, Pebbles Pencils Masking Tape Shaving Foam Bristol Board - 17 cm x 17 cm (7" x 7") - 1 per student Rulers

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Steps

ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step One

Step One

PART ONE - MAKE THE ANIMAL

  1. Use Crayola air-dry clay to make your animal. 
  2. In this example we are making a bear.
    - Use the same general ideas for other animals and just change the shapes you make depending on your animal.
  3. Roll the clay into simple shapes.
    - 1 large cylinder for the body,
    - 4 small cylinders for the legs
    - 1 teardrop shape for the head 

 

ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Use a pin tool to score the clay where tou are going to join it to another piece of clay.
    - You can make a pin tool by taping a half opened paper clip to the end of a pencil.

 

  1. Fold the uncut sides of the Bristol board up.
  2. Place one of the cut triangles on top of the other one.
  3. Glue the triangles together.
ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Apply a small amount of slip to the scored part.
    - You can make slip by mixing small pieces of clay with a small amount of water until it is like thick cream. 

 

ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Smooth the edges of the clay together as you join the 2 shapes.

 

ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Join all the shapes to create your animal.
    - Be sure to score and add slip everytime you join pieces of clay together.
  2. Pose the animal in a sleeping position.
  3. Use a pin tool to scratch texture and other details into the clay.
  4. Set the animal aside to dry for 4 days.
ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Six

Step Six

  1. When the clay is completely dry paint your animal with Crayola Project Paint.
ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Seven

Step Seven

PART TWO - MAKE THE SETTING

  1. Begin with a square of Bristol board 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm (12" x 12"). 
  2. Fold the Bristol board in half diagonally from one corner to the other.
  3. Make a firm crease. 
  4. Open the Bristol board up and fold it diagonally in the opposite direction.
  5. Make a firm crease.
  6. Make a dot in the centre of the 'X' where the two folds meet.
  7. Cut along one of the folds and stop at the dot
ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Fold the uncut sides of the Bristol board up.
  2. Place one of the cut triangles on top of the other one.
  3. Glue the 2 triangles together.

 

ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Make another smaller triarama.
  2. Begin with a square of Bristol board 17 cm x 17 cm (7" x 7").
  3. Repeat the steps you followed for the first one.
  4. Place the square with the cut edge at the top.
  5. Place your ruler along the bottom of the square.
  6. Measure 11 cm (5") from the left corner of the square to the right corner.
  7. Mark the spot.
  8. Repeat the measurement on the opposite side.
ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Ten

Step Ten

  1. Draw a line from one dot to the other.
  2. Cut along the line.
ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

  1. Hold the small triarama with the flat bottom facing down.
  2. Place it inside the big triarama so the top makes a shelf.
  3. Make sure the centre fold of the big triarama lines up with the centre fold of the small one.
  4. Make sure the flat bottom of the small triarama lines up with the bottom of the big one.
  5. Glue it in place.
ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Twelve

Step Twelve

  1. Use Crayola Project paint to colour the ABOVE and BELOW ground spaces.
ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Thirteen

Step Thirteen

  1. Use different materials to add details to the ABOVE  and BELOW ground spaces, for example,
    - twigs
    - recycled brown paper bags
    - paper towel rolls
  2. Use Puffy Paint to add snow to the 'Above Ground' space.

PUFFY PAINTMix equal amounts of Crayola Washable No-Run School Glue and Shaving Cream together until it is thick and fluffy.

ANIMALS IN WINTER – Clay, Texture, Space - Step Fourteen

Step Fourteen

  1. Place your animal in its den.
  2. View your model with fresh eyes.
  3. What do you like best about it? Why?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • construct 2 triaramas one smaller than the other;
  • create a model showing a hibernating Canadian animal in winter in its natural habitat;
  • use air-dry clay and hand-building techniques to create their chosen animal;
  • share an oral presentation about their chosen animal;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

Extensions

Have students:

  • write an imaginary story about their animal's life and adventures;
  • include an acrostic poem about their animal;
  • share their work with an audience.

Prepare

  1. Prior to this lesson, teach students about the various habits of animals in winter introducing them to terms including hibernation and migration.
  2. Take students on a winter walk encouraging them to look for animals and birds or signs of their presence such as footprints etc.
  3. Download some images of animals that hibernate from the Internet, for example,
    Grizzly
    Black Bear
    Squirrel
    Groundhog
  4. Download some images of animals that migrate from the Internet, for example,
    Caribou
    Robin
    Monarch Butterfly
    Canada Goose
  5. Download some images of animals that adapt from the Internet, for example,
    Chickadee
    Cottontail Rabbit
    Blue Jay
    Mouse
  6. Have students sort pictures of animals according to how they spend the winter.
  7. Generate lists showing animals that hibernate in winter, animals that migrate to warmer climates and animals that stay active all winter.
  8. Encourage students to select one animal from the hibernate catagory and complete further research on it.
  9. Make grade appropriate books about hibernating animals available, encouraging students to gather information about their chosen animal and its habitat.
  10. Preview the reading of Over and Under the Snow - Read Aloud online.

Introduction

  1. Conduct a read-aloud with the book Over and Under the Snow, by Kate Messner, and Christopher Silas Neal focussing on how different it is above and below the snow. 
  2. Have students imagine the kinds of things found in the underground dens, and what kinds of materials they could use to recreate the habitat, e.g., small twigs, pebbles, dried leaves, acorns.
  3. Introduce the challenge

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Construct 2 triaramas, one smaller than the other.
  2. Create a model that shows your animal's habitat in winter both above and below the ground.
  3. Accurately show what your hibernating animal does in winter.
  4. Create a clay sculpture that looks like your animal.
  5. Demonstrate planning ability, creativity and technical accomplishment.

The Process

  1. ​Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
    - Ask students to imagine the setting for their scene. Where might their animal be?
    - Remind them that this triarama is meant to show an animal that hibernates all winter.
    - Encourage them to think of the kinds of details they will need to add to the setting to make it effective.
    - Encourage students to use their research information and any pictures they have found to help them with details they will need to include in order to make their animal and its habitat look realistic.
    - Remind students about the importance of accurate scale and proportion.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - constructed 2 sturdy triaramas, one smaller than other
    - accurately measured and marked the small triarama

    - created visual details that communicate information about the habitat both above and below the ground
    - used materials effectively
    - accurately showed what my animal does in winter
    - created a clay sculpture that looks like my animal
    - made sure the finished model is in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Once all the models are complete ask students to work in small groups taking turns sharing their work with each other.
    Look closely at the models.
    - Share thoughts about the work.
  2. During the discussion include references to:
    detail – how a variety of details were used to make the setting look realistic
    - texture – how a variety of textures were created and how they contribute to the overall effectiveness of the model 
    - technique – how clay techniques have been used to make the animal look realistic
  3. Once students have had a chance to share their work in small groups ask for volunteers to share something interesting they learned with the whole class.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their models – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the model, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - AnimalsWinter_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - AnimalsWinter_self-assessment.pdf)