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Christmas Wind Illustrations for Surrey Now

Below you’ll find the student illustrations for the Christmas Wind project and some verbatims from the Surrey teachers who led the project in each of the schools.

As preface to the illustrations, the protagonist of The Christmas Wind (a little girl named Jo who is about 8 years old), is leaving with her sick mother and infant brother for “someplace else” on a cold, windy and snowless Christmas Eve. Along the way, the ferocious wind pushes them around, forcing them to stop for the night to hide out in the barn of a notoriously grouchy old man named Franklin Murdock. Jo’s first confrontations with each of these antagonists (the wind and Mr. Murdock) were widely illustrated. One student (from Ontario) remarked, “This is when the scarf gets blown away. It’s colourful and it was a pretty thing when she said it.”

The illustrations below depict one image from each of the 5 participating Surrey classes for each of these scenes. There were 120 students participating across the 3 schools (and 1,000 students participating nationwide):

  • Coyote Creek Elementary Grade 1, 2 and 3’s – Project lead at the school was teacher-librarian, Kim Sturn

  • Cloverdale Catholic Elementary Grade 5’s – Project lead at the school was teacher, Jeanne Tyrrell

  • Hyland Elementary Grade 2’s – Project lead at the school was teacher-librarian, Lisa Baer

I’ve actually ended up including an image from each class for another scene as well where Jo reaches the barn with her little brother, Christopher, and confronts some farm animals … this just gives you a greater variety to choose from. 

 

Jo’s First Confrontation with the Wind:

“The wind elbowed Jo’s mother and kicked her to the ground.
‘Stop it!’ Jo shook her fist at the sky. Ignoring her, the wind stole her scarf and blew out the light.”

This scene is from Part 1 – LISTEN HERE

 

Illustration by Grade 5 student from Cloverdale Catholic Elementary

Illustration by Grade 5 student from Cloverdale Catholic Elementary

b-TCW-Part 1-Coyote Creek-Robertson G1-8

Illustration by Grade 1 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 3 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 3 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student from Hyland Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student from Hyland Elementary

 

Jo’s First Confrontation with Mr. Murdock:

“She charged the front door and banged on it with her fist.

… Murdock opened the door a crack.

Jo gripped the shovel like a weapon.

‘What are you doing with my shovel?’ said Murdock.”

 This scene is from Part 5 – LISTEN HERE

 

Illustration by Grade 5 student at Cloverdale Catholic

Illustration by Grade 5 student at Cloverdale Catholic

Illustration by Grade 1 student at Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 1 student at Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student at Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student at Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 3 student at Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 3 student at Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student at Hyland Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student at Hyland Elementary

 

Jo’s Confrontation with the barn animals:

“While it wasn’t exactly warm inside, at least the wind couldn’t find them in here. She wrapped her coat around her little brother and lay him in an empty manger.
The cattle started lowing softly in the stalls around them. Quiet braying, and the gentle baa of sheep joined in and rose above the stalls in a kind of lullaby.
‘Quiet yourselves,’ Jo whispered.”

 This scene is from Part 3 – LISTEN HERE

 

Illustration by Grade 5 student at Cloverdale Catholic Elementary

Illustration by Grade 5 student at Cloverdale Catholic Elementary

Illustration by Grade 1 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 1 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 3 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 3 student from Coyote Creek Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student from Hyland Elementary

Illustration by Grade 2 student from Hyland Elementary

 

Here are some verbatim comments about the project from the Surrey Teachers:

“We actually listened to Part 1, four times. I explained that a story was like an onion….each time we hear it, we gain something new, until we can get to the heart of the story. Each time we listened, we brainstormed key words that we heard as pictures were being made in our heads.” — Jeanne Tyrrell, Grade 5 Teacher, Cloverdale Catholic

“I’ve been doing the project with my Grade 5 class. Boy, do they ever get excited and hound me to hear the story, as they know the day when you download the installment for us :)” — Jeanne Tyrrell, Grade 5 Teacher, Cloverdale Catholic

“The parents really loved the video [created of the students’ illustrations]. They were so impressed by the project!” — Jeanne Tyrrell, Grade 5 Teacher, Cloverdale Catholic

“Sharing their thoughts through discussions, drawings, blogging, and voice recordings allowed me to have a peek inside their thoughts. Some of their ideas were not ones I had thought of and it is great to see divergent thought!” — Kim Sturn, Teacher-Librarian, Coyote Creek Elementary

“The author’s expressive reading really grabbed their attention and interest. The slide show made of their art work set to the story was really moving and the students were enraptured and wanted to see it again and again! It made them feel very special and like real artists to see their work up on the screen.” — Kim Sturn, Teacher-Librarian, Coyote Creek Elementary

(See HERE for a sample of the student movies/slide shows of their illustrations referred to in the quotes above. 52 classes across Canada participated in the project and a class movie of their illustrations was created for each class. For copyright reasons, this video shouldn’t be shared or made public.)

ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE PROJECT:

  1. Besides sharing the words of the story itself, I engaged with each of the classes on a weekly basis with activities surrounding the story. After Part 8 of the story, I shared a page with illustrations from students across the country (1,000 students participating times 8 illustrations each were too many to put up in thumbnails which is why I ended up doing the little “movies” of their drawings to the words of the story … with a few sound effects thrown in). The week after this I shared some sneak peeks of the illustrator’s preliminary sketches.

  2. Unavoidable time delays by the illustrator led recently to the decision to postpone the book’s launch until Fall 2016. Thus, The Christmas Wind (written by Stephanie Simpson McLellan and illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan) will be released by Red Deer Press in June 2016.

  3. Other media about this project from other parts of Canada can be found here: www.TheClassroomWindProject.com

  4. This Fall (2015) we will be releasing a similar program on this website that families can access for free. They can register to participate anytime at www.TheChristmasWind.com

  5. An interesting “Christmas Wind Anecdote” involves one of the Surrey students from Coyote Creek: Kennedy, Noah, Simon and Student 23. You can click here to see what happened. You will require a password to view this page – The Password is: KNS23

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