January 12, 2008

Learning with Potatoes

Today we read Snowflake Bentley for the final time. It's due at the library and someone else has reserved it, so I can't extend my hold. :( At least someone else will get to enjoy this treasure.

Snowflake Bentley's illustrator, Mary Azarian, used woodcuts for her artwork. She would carefully draw her designs on a slab of wood and then chisel away until she had the perfect picture. After inking her cut-out block and placing on the paper, she used watercolors to add in the broader details and colors.

I had intended to get some wood or rubber from a craft store so that the girls could practice this art form, but I never made it there. So we used what we had around the house--potatoes and ink.

The girls freehanded a design with toothpicks and then cut around them with a butter knife. We then dried the potatoes on a paper towel, inked them up and pressed them onto the paper. Finally the girls added colors with markers.

Next week, we'll start a new book, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. We've read this one a few times, too, but we'll do a few fun projects to continue our celebration of winter. We'll probably not see snow this year on the ground, but we sure have found plenty in our books!

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1 comment:

Mrs. Darling said...

Owl Moon is one of the books listed in Five In a Row. We studied it using their ideas as a springboard. It turned out to be one of my favorite books!