Magazine article Arts & Activities

What Is a Snoval?

Magazine article Arts & Activities

What Is a Snoval?

Article excerpt

Introducing the oval shape to my kindergarten classes seems to occur around the onset of winter. Historically, snowmen (or snow-women or snow-children) provide primary educators with an opportunity to review the circle shape. As similar as they may be, the oval deserves a separate billing, as it is a shape with a distinct identity. In exploring this shape this year, the children added a new word to their vocabulary. "Has anyone ever seen a 'snoval'?" I asked.

I began my lesson by incorporating this element of art with a winter theme. After introducing the oval and comparing and contrasting it to other familiar geometric shapes, the children practiced drawing ovals with their imaginary crayons in the air. Large, small, upright and laying-down ovals were created with such enthusiasm that one could almost see them floating around the art room.

Next, each child used a small piece of modeling clay to create the oval's 3-D counterpart--the "egg shape." Following this tactile experience, the children were better prepared to begin drawing their ovals on a sheet of white

12" x 18" construction paper. The children were encouraged to create large ovals, filling the paper space provided. Within a few minutes, the ovals were drawn and ready to be cut. The oval varieties were plentiful. Some were thin and some short. Most had rounded tops and bottoms.

After a few minutes of discussing possible clothing and accessories that could be used to make the snovals appear alive, the children were anxious to search through boxes of gift-wrap pieces and other paper scraps--including construction, metallic and wallpaper. Buttons, ribbon, small pom-poms and other miscellaneous bric-a-brac were available for the children to use. This was also an opportunity to review the art of collage--a technique introduced during an earlier art lesson.

Many children used buttons to represent the eyes and nose, while some cut out paper fruit and vegetable forms. …

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