Using Crayon Resist and Math Poetry to Explore the Seasons: An Easy, Accessible Activity to Accompany Reading “Cycles” in “Hungry for Science: Poems to Crunch on”


It is day two of my spring break camp with the VSO School of Music. Invigorated and enlivened by the  smiles and enthusiasm of the young students enrolled in the class, I find myself inspired at the end of the day.

I am far from a visual artist but I do, as children do, like to play with art materials without having to be perfect. I found this activity to be relaxing, easy and inexpensive. Everyone could be a success!


First we read the poem, “Cycles” from “Hungry for Science: Poems to Crunch on”. We then explored, using drama and movement the kinds of things we liked to do in each season. We played versions of “Freeze Dance”, created tableaux and spoke in role to generate ideas. This led to a good brainstorm of activities and images that we associated with each season. I wrote these on the board, demonstrated how to do the crayon resist activity and away we went!

Materials:Crayons, watercolour paints, paintbrushes, water and water containers, plastic table cloth, paper towels, plain white paper or watercolour paper.

How to: After brainstorming images for each season, have students draw their image, in crayon on a blank sheet of paper. Make sure they colour heavily and leave some white space. When complete, have them paint over top of their image with watercolour. The paint should not really stick to the parts covered in crayon, it resists the wax. Allow them to dry and voila! Beautiful artwork!

Extensions: Have students write a math equation poem to go with their artwork. They can write this before they draw their pictures on the bottom of their sheet, preferably in marker or sharpie. An example might be: Sun + Sand = Beach!

Students can also create their own set of artwork by creating an illustration for each season.


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