Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Am Your Groupie: Eric Carle

Welcome to my first installment of I Am Your Groupie, where I feature an artist, author or even just a person who has contributed so much to my world-view and brings me SO much happiness and inspiration that I would gladly give it all up and follow them around if they were on tour.

Today I feature the beloved children's book author, Eric Carle! I am in love with every single one of his charming, whimsical, gorgeously illustrated books because every single one of them is the perfect vehicle for an art lesson for kids K-3! The only exception is  Draw Me a Star...and don't get me wrong, it's an amazingly crafted and gorgeously illustrated book all about the creative process--the illustrations are sort of reminiscent of Chagall (hello? artist connection!)...but there is one page where...ahem... there are naked people! But no worries, because I just skip that page as stealthily as you please.

My kindergarteners do an author study every year on Carle and boy-oh-boy do I hop on that band wagon. This year was extra cool because the K's did a little community service project collecting useful items for a local animal shelter. So I thought I would do a little "connection" action and use his book Have You Seen My Cat? as a springboard for a cat drawing and collage lesson.

All of Carle's rhythmic, repetitive, yet engaging books are perfect for choral read-alouds, I think. The children really get a kick out of reading with me, especially when I include some dramatic flourishes with my hands, or change up the emphasis on that one sentence. "Have you seen my cat? Have you seen my cat? Have you seen my CAT??" You get the picture.

Enjoy the photo journey of our lesson and after you're done go take a virtual tour of The Eric Carle Museum

 We start out by drawing a cat using simple shapes.  Plus we add a line that shows us the ground and the sky. Or for that matter, the floor and the wall! Trace in sharpie and then color in with crayon. I really like the Crayola Construction Paper crayons because the colors are a bit bolder. I add them to my buckets of the traditional colors. 
                                                                 Notice how all the cats are unique individuals!

Then we can add the collage pieces with glue sticks. I use small squares of animal patterned tissue since the cat in the story was a calico and her kittens were miniature big cats! They can choose the small squares of multicolored tissue for the cat or the blanket or rug. It's all good! 

                                                                                      This is my cat!

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