Rattlesnakes and Snacks

I teach in rural Texas. Kids there grow up knowing about rattlesnakes in general and the particular brand of Texas tall tale called a whopper in particular.  You know, like when the sun perch you caught turns into a whale and the like.

A few years back, author Joe Hayes visited our library and read his book The Gum Chewing Rattler to our students. He was a great performer and had the kids enthralled with his wonderful whopper about a boy who likes to chew gum; gets in trouble for it; and finally has the gum-chewing habit save his life. Well to hear him tell it….

Great fodder for the illustrator Antonio Castro L. This year, I read the book and we studied the illustrations in fourth grade art. The result: these charming rattlesnakes blowing oil pastel bubbles. Great conversations about pastels, transparency and texture came from this lesson. The drawings were done first in pencil, outlined in sharpie, then completed in crayon with oil pastel bubbles.

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3 thoughts on “Rattlesnakes and Snacks

  1. Your class pictures are amazing! My grandmother was an artist (there’s a post about it). What stands out to me is that you taught them to give shine and depth to the bubbles. Very impressive! Some of those kids are going to have those art skills for their entire lives!! My 6th grade teacher (1971) MADE us do art every week and I believe I am the “artist” I am today because of it. Glad to see Texas (where half of my relatives live) invests in their elementary education! They sure don’t in California 😦 Bravo!


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