Sunday, January 26, 2014

Snowballs, embroidery hoops and the app, Faces iMake

Blizzard conditions, low of -19 degrees tomorrow morning, school closed tomorrow, likely late or closed on Tuesday, our crazy winter continues.  Perfect conditions for another winter related post.  Snowballs by Lois Ehlert is a favorite winter read for preschool teachers.  In this post, I share a few extension activities.

A traditional follow up activity to the book is an art project where children use various materials to create a collage of a snow creature similar to the book.  I loved displaying these creations, each one so unique and reflecting each student's ideas and personality.  I wanted to extend this activity by using loose parts that can be arranged and rearranged at a center. During a family gathering, my nephews and neice scoured the kitchen, junk drawer, art cabinet, toy box and yard for materials, added a few embroidery hoops and white paper, then went to work.  Different sizes of hoops were used so size concepts were discussed.  Following the theme of the book, the kids created snow moms, snow dads, snow babies and snow animals.  We took pictures of each creation and planned to create a digital book, retelling the story, but we didn't get that done.  It was acutally nice out so we went outside and played in the snow instead!

The second extension involves a "go to App" on my iPad, Faces iMake.  It is a great creative outlet and is a perfect match for the Snowballs theme.  Kids can create snow people and snow animals using a variety of vocabulary building props available on the app.  The app can be customized by using the camera option.  Pictures can be imported from the camera roll or taken with the camera.  Using a pencil eraser, the object can be cropped from the background and used in the collage. It is easy to resize and rotate objects, and objects can be locked and moved to the front or back.  Once again, the children can take pictures of their creations to share with others.  I enjoyed the video tutorials available on the app as well.  This app offers great features for the price and promotes creativity and vocabulary building.  For those of you in my region, stay warm, stay safe and think Spring!

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