Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Eric Carle Activities

Eric Carle is the last artist-of-the-month for my FDK class. By now the kids are fearless, creative, talented artists - okay, I know all kindergarteners are but I like to think my artists are the BEST!
We spend one hectic hour or half hour or whatever it takes (this year on a half day Friday) making our "Eric Carle paper." We have bright colors of paint set out on each table. Each table has a couple of brush types and texture stampers or objects. I make sure we have lots of browns and yellows as we will want these colors for brown bear and rubber ducks. Then we paint and paint and paint. Kids can partner up and move to other tables.  It's chaotic creative fun. We fill up two drying racks and look for flat surfaces to dry more. Phew.

Our "big" Eric Carle project is completed in small groups at our "stations." Each student chooses from: bear, duck, butterfly, fish, or bird. The kids pick papers to use and trace their templates on the back. Experience has taught me to write UP on the templates. Then the kids cut out and assemble.  There are models to look at but as you can see there is plenty of room for individual taste and interpretation. I like a black background but since Carle uses so much white I let the students choose. I made the templates on poster board using Eric Carle's work as inspiration.

These two butterflies show how each student used the templates, papers and their own details to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

This week at stations we are using Eric Carle's book Ten Little Rubber Ducks to inspire our writing and research.  After reading the book together we discussed writing our own book. As we rotate through our stations we have 7 groups.  Perfect.  Each group would choose a continent to represent. Next the students each decide on their own animal to meet up with the rubber duck. Here is where the research comes in.  What animals live in Asia? Africa? Australia?  What are some of their characteristics.  We have books and a laptop at the station. The students also use some yellow "Eric Carle" paper to make a duck for their pictures.  Honestly I think I saw the "duck" idea somewhere else - but it was a couple of year's ago so I can't give proper credit. Here are some samples from last year:

We also do a play based on The Grouchy Ladybug. I know blogs and Pinterest are full of other great ideas. I hope to squeeze in at least one more fun / educational Eric Carle project!