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The Four Seasons Developed By Carol M. Arbing Suggested Length Lessons #1, #2, #4: 60 minutes Lesson #3: 30 minutes Suggested Grade Level(s) 1, 2 Subject Areas Social Studies, Visual Arts, Language Arts, Science, Technology Overview Students will explore various aspects of seasons. They will examine Robert Harris’ artwork, read children’s literature, and discuss seasonal characteristics, clothing, activities, and animal adaptations. Links to Curriculum Outcomes Students will (be expected to) • explore art and artists from past and present (visual arts) • demonstrate an understanding that people have changed technology over time to meet their needs, wants and interests (social studies) • identify and describe examples of interactions among people, technology and the environments (social studies) • sustain engagement in writing and other forms of representation (drawing, role play, plasticine art, collage, etc.) (language arts) • investigate and describe daily changes in the characteristics, behaviours, and location of living things (science) • investigate and describe human preparations for seasonal changes (science) Links to Telling Stories: Themes / Key Words • seasons • clothing • fads • temperate climate Art Works • Beazeley sketchbook, Margaret Beazeley, CAG H-90.8b • In Ecouen, Robert Harris, CAG H-1194 • In an Orchard in the Adirondacks, Robert Harris, CAG H-8143 • In Charlottetown, Falconwood Park, Robert Harris, CAG H-2154 • Pressing For the Answer, Robert Harris, CAG H-2229 • Mrs. George Rogers “Fairholme”, photo from Harris family album, CAG H- 1911a • Untitled, Robert Harris, CAG H-1314 • Long Lake, P.E. Island, Robert Harris, CAG H-1106 Context This unit would be useful for the language arts theme “circular tales” and a science theme on daily and seasonal changes. Lesson #1: What Season Is It? Objective Using four Harris paintings and the story “Four Seasons for Toby” as references, students will list seasonal characteristics and use them to compose acrostic poems. Students will use pastels to draw a picture of their favorite season, on which they will display their poetry. Related Art Work(s) • Beazeley sketchbook, Margaret Beazeley, CAG H-90.8b • In Ecouen, Robert Harris, CAG H-1194 • In an Orchard in the Adirondacks, Robert Harris, CAG H-8143 • In Charlottetown, Falconwood Park, Robert Harris, CAG H-2154 Materials • “Four Seasons for Toby, Dorothy”, Joan Harris, 1987 • chart paper • markers • pastels • 8 1/2” X 14” paper Activities 1. Read “Four Seasons for Toby” (or another book about seasons). Note how the pictures support the text. Ask students: • What was the story about? 2. View Robert Harris’ paintings. Ask: • What do the story and paintings have in common? 3. Name the seasons. • Have students brainstorm characteristics of each season. List responses on chart paper. 4. Survey students: If [season’s name] is your favorite, raise your hand. Mark numerical results on the chart. Ask students: • Which season is the favorite? least favorite? • Discuss reasons for their choices. 5. Show and read an example of an acrostic poem about one of the seasons (first letter of each line forms a word - a season - when read vertically). Have students write a poem about their favorite season. Younger students may choose to write a descriptive sentence(s) instead of a poem. 6. Revisit Harris’ works. Define background and foreground. Note the many colors used. Brainstorm ideas for simple compositions for each season. Have students fold an 8 1/2” X 14” paper in half, illustrate their favorite season on one half using pastels, and print their poem or sentences on the other half. 7. Display students’ work with a title banner. Ideas for Assessment Note whether students can name and describe characteristics of each season. Lesson #2: What Are You Wearing? Objective Students will explore styles, fads, the impact of weather forecasts on what we wear, and the importance of dressing appropriately for the weather. Students will make a “clothing collage” to demonstrate their understanding of seasonal clothing. Related Art Work(s) • Pressing for the Answer, Robert Harris, CAG H-2229 • Mrs. George Rogers “Fairholme”, photo from Harris family album, CAG H- 1911a Materials • books about clothing • The Jacket I Wear in the Snow, Shirley Neitzel, 1994 • magazines • scissors • glue • 8 1/2” X 14” paper Activities 1. View and discuss the referenced works. Ask: • What seasons are portrayed in each piece? • How do you know? 2. Use books to show how clothing styles have changed since the Victorian era to the present. Define and discuss “fads”. 3. Read aloud The Jacket I Wear in the Winter. Review and list the winter clothing mentioned. Revisit Harris’ painting. Compare clothing worn in each. Ask: • Are there similarities? • List other examples of seasonal clothing. 4. Talk together about how weather forecasting impacts what we wear (e.g. prediction of rain: rubber boots, rain slicker). Talk about technological change and its impact: natural fibers (cotton, wool, linen) versus man-made materials (nylon, polyester, thinsulate). Technology has made clothing lighter, warmer, water repellent and more flexible and breathable. 5. Have students cut pictures of seasonal clothing from magazines, sort by season, and glue them on a quarter folded 8 1/2” X 14” paper. If unable to find pictures, students might draw them. Ideas for Assessment Note whether students sorted seasonal clothing appropriately. Lesson #3: Seasonal Activities Objective Robert Harris paintings will spark discussion about seasonal activities. Students will learn how technology has brought about greater participation in activities year round as well as how seasonal change affects such participation. A game of charades will conclude the lesson. Related Art Work(s) • Untitled, Robert Harris, CAG H-1314 • Pressing for the Answer, Robert Harris, CAG H-2229 Materials • chart paper • markers • envelopes • sets of suggestions of seasonal activities on cut up sheets of paper Activities 1. View works referenced above. Ask students: • What is happening in each painting? • What seasons are depicted? 2. Discuss how some activities are affected by seasonal change (e.g. gardening, picnicking, skiing). Discuss how the weather forecast impacts our scheduled activities (e.g. snow days, rain dates for class trips, beach plans). 3. On chart paper, brainstorm activities typical of each season using Harris’ paintings to get started. Ask students “What if”: • I wanted to swim in December? • I wanted to ice skate or play ice hockey in the Summer? • I wanted to ski in January but there wasn’t any snow on the slopes? • I wanted to ski in the summer? Discuss how technology has enabled us to participate in certain activities “out of season” (e.g. indoor pools, ice rinks, snow making machines, airplanes). 4. Form small groups. Give students an envelope with seasonal activity suggestions such as: • raking • skiing • biking • shoveling • gardening • ice skating • building a sand castle Each student randomly chooses an activity from the envelope and acts it out. Others must guess the activity and the season to which it belongs. Ideas for Assessment Observe knowledge of seasons and activities and cooperative participation. Lesson #4: Animals in Season! Objective Students will learn about animals of the Atlantic Provinces by investigating how seasonal change impacts animal behaviour and location. A Robert Harris watercolor and the story Have You Seen Birds? provide reference points. Related Art Work(s) • Long Lake, P.E. Island, Robert Harris, CAG H-1106 Materials • Have You Seen Birds, Joanne F. Oppenheim (Barbara Reid: illustrator), 1990 • drawing utensils • 8 1/2” X 14” paper Activities 1. Discuss the type of climate in Atlantic Canada. Have students go to: www.EnchantedLearning.com/biomes/tempdecid.shtl. Consider the section “temperate deciduous forest biome”. Have students read through descriptions of familiar animals to find seasonal behaviours (e.g. hibernation, migration). 2. If unable to use computers, define a temperate climate and ask students to give examples of wild animals in their area (Atlantic Provinces: fox, beaver, geese, rabbit, bear, chipmunk, skunk, deer). Brainstorm seasonal behaviors of the animals. 3. Define “adaptation”. As an example of adaptation, discuss migration and how some birds find food in the winter. 4. View Robert Harris’ painting. Ask: • Are there sheep in the Atlantic Provinces? • What are the sheep doing? • What season is in the painting? • Mention how animal fur (or wool) gets thicker in winter (similar to humans wearing coats in winter). Mention other adaptations. 5. Draw attention to plasticine art while reading Have You Seen Birds? Ask students to describe some of the ways that Barbara Reid uses plasticine to create her images. Ask: • What did you learn about birds and seasons from her illustrations? 6. On chart paper, draw a “season clock” (a circle, divided in quarters, labeled Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall). Fill the clock with examples from students of animal activities for each season. 7. Have students choose an animal. On each half of an 8 1/2” X 14” paper, draw an activity that their animal does in two different seasons (e.g. bear hibernates in winter; eats berries in summer). 8. Display their artwork. Computer Option • www.EnchantedLearning.com/biomes/tempdecid.shtml Bringing it all Together Go on a sensory walk in a local park. Have students use their senses to “feel” the season: close eyes and listen to sounds; smell the air; see and touch the natural environment (bark, leaves). Taste a seasonal treat like hot chocolate with marshmallows in winter.
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