December 17, 2023 No Comments

Although I am a choice-based teacher, I like giving my students the opportunity to create model magic snowmen. Not only are these a nice keepsake, but this lesson also teaches students basic clay sculpture techniques while encouraging creativity. This is a required project for Kindergarten, serving as their introduction to clay sculpture in our art studio.

I review this demonstration in 1st grade, but first graders have the option of creating something different, however many still make the snowman. What I especially love about these is how they are all turn out different and are special in their own unique way.

  • 1oz individual packs of white model magic (1 per student)
  • colored model magic cut into small portions for sharing (we had red, blue, yellow, orange and black available)
  • twigs for arms (cut-up pipe cleaners can also be used)
  • Colored felt cut into strips for scarves (optional)
  • Buttons (can use small dots of colored model magic instead)
  • Tacky glue for applying scarves and buttons
  1. To start, I like to play this short, 2-minute video. Although it uses Play-Doh, students still get the gist of it, plus it has cheerful holiday music in the background to set the mood.
  2. After the video, I show students how to divide their model magic into three portions, one for each the top, middle and bottom. I have them tell me which part will be the biggest portion, the smallest portion and the one in the middle. I show them how to roll the balls of clay and how to gently push them together. I suggest that they use the entire packet of white for their snowmen, but some students choose to make a few different smaller snowmen instead.
  3. Next, I briefly demonstrate and review what students saw in the video – making the hat (a flat disc with a cylinder), molding the carrot (cone shape) and inserting the twigs.
  4. Lastly it’s time for finishing touches – scarves, mittens, buttons – students decorate their snowmen however they wish! They can also add more details (such as eyelashes!) by carefully using markers or sharpies.
Lisa Blanchette

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Welcome to my blog! I’ve been an art teacher for over 20 years and have worked with a variety of age levels. I am passionate about art, teaching and learning. I’m excited to share lessons, resources, tips and tricks that I currently use in my elementary choice-based art room. Read More