The Snowy Day in Art Class

Kent Elementary School Art Teacher Rachel Berry picked the perfect week for her lesson on perspective. 

On a day between snowstorms, she asked the first graders to create a picture of someone walking through the snow and leaving footprints, just like the classic illustrations in “The Snowy Day,” by Ezra Jack Keats.  

“Look at the footprints,” Berry said. “What is happening to the size of them? As they get smaller, they look farther away.”   Teaching students perspective 

Berry showed the youngsters from Rissa Cutler’s class how to use simple shapes to make people. Then she showed them how to make the line of shrinking footsteps in the snow.  

“Just make ovals for the footprints, and make them smaller as you go,” Berry said.  

The aim of Berry’s lesson was to teach children about optical illusions and perspective, but the first graders seemed especially interested in the people they were drawing.   

“I’m drawing my big sister,” Kiley said. “Then I’m going to draw a person rolling a snowball to make a snowman.”  

“I am drawing two robots and a friend for the robots,” said Anthony.  

“In my picture, I’m drawing me and my mom, and we are holding hands,” said Lena. “We are wearing matching gloves.” 

“Where are the footprints?” their teacher asked when she came to their table.  

With prompting from Berry, the young artists each made trails of footprints that got smaller as they inched through the snow to the horizon.   

“Look, we came from far away,” Lena said, when her footprints were done.