Friday, January 17, 2014

*Art Integration* The Snowy Day--A Feature on Ezra Jack Keats

I absolutely LOVE Ezra Jack Keats; he was the very first children's author to use minority children in his books and show their childhood life. I love his character Peter, and his mixed media techniques in his books. His illustrations are wonderful and use methods of collage with some paint and ink dashed in here and there. The very first book I read by Ezra was The Snowy Day. Immediately I fell in love with Peter and his urban neighborhood. Next along was Pet Show and Goggles! Then my Ezra Jack Keats collection began with every book I could possibly find, and I still have to this day.
Ezra Jack Keats is an excellent illustrator to study as well. I had a wonderful 3'rd grade teacher ask who she could study this month, and I immediately thought of Ezra Jack Keats.
Look at her children's collage pieces they finished after learning about Ezra Jack Keats, and the art elements of space, form, and shape. They also used watercolors along with their construction paper collage.

Materials Needed:
Fiction Text: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats 
Non-Fiction Text: Collages by Isabel Thomas
Art Background Skills: FREE Art Posters of Shape/Form, Space from Awesome Artists
Art Materials: Construction Paper, Scissors, Glue, Black Marker, Watercolors or colored markers

Read and Discuss The Snowy Day, noting each of the illustrations within the book. How is the snow created? What are the buildings made from? How does Peter look in relation to the scenery? Whose perspective is this story from? Which perspective is shown in the illustrations?

After reading and discussing the book, explain to the children that they are going to create a scene from the book just like Ezra Jack Keats did. Allow them to choose their favorite scene and re-create using a collage technique with different types of colored paper using scissors and their markers to add details. If students wish, and your tolerance allows then allow them to wash some pieces with watercolors.