Snail Trail

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By Hilary White

Jo Saxton’s Snail Trail takes the young reader on a tour of eight modern art masterpieces. Apart from being great fun, the book can be used as a starting point for a range of activities.

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Matisse’s snail

Look at Matisse’s collage picture ‘The Snail’ at the end of the book and compare the collage with the snail in the story. Can the children spot similar coloured shapes in the collage and the snail’s shell? Show them how the shapes in Matisse’s collage curl around to make a spiral, and compare the shape of the snail’s blue body with the blue rectangle in the picture.

Matisse - The Snail

Cut out and tear some random shapes from coloured paper, and cut out some squares, rectangles, triangles and other geometric shapes. Explore the shapes with the children – name them, sort the shapes with torn edges from the shapes with cut edges and group them according to colour and size. Encourage the children to play with the shapes and make them into patterns and pictures. Give each child a large cut out circle and let them stick on shapes to create a colourful snail shell – just like the snail in the story. Add bodies cut from blue paper and make the snails into a frieze for the setting.

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