The following are ideas for using
Eric Carle: Picture Writer in the classroom.
- Submitted by Mary Carhartt
In my art classes I compare the two artists Eric Carle, who was raised in Germany, and Romare Bearden, an African American artist. Both of these artists used the medium of collage. My second graders enjoy making their own collages and seeing the art of two great artists who use the same medium from different perspectives.
- Submitted by Evie Topcik
I am a Library Media Specialist at Louisville Collegiate School in Louisville, Kentucky. For the past four years, I have been doing two weekly consecutive sessions on Eric Carle, his books, and his art with third graders. First, I read some of his books, asking children to pay particular attention to his collages. Then I show the Eric Carle: Picture Writer video. The next week, the students make their own collages. First they make designs, using crayons, colored pencils, or markers. Then they cut out parts of animal bodies and paste them on another paper. They are very good, and I have displayed them at conferences and put them on bulletin boards.
- Submitted by Natalie Stocks
I was very anxious to use the Eric Carle: Picture Writer video during my student teaching this semester. I wanted to create a large piece for the upcoming school art festival. My fourth grade class began in two groups, painting large papers with tempera. Paint combs were dragged through wet paint to add texture. As a group, the children used their green and brown papers to make very tall trees. After reading Animals, Animals, each student created his or her own bird collage to place in the trees. We created an awesome entrance to the art festival with our trees reaching from floor to ceiling and our birds nesting peacefully among the branches. Thanks for the inspiration!
- Submitted by Pat Smith
My 2nd grade art students discussed the illustrations of Eric Carle and viewed the video Eric Carle: Picture Writer. We concentrated on the segment showing the making of painted papers. The students had previously become familiar with Mr. Carle’s books in library. The students then made their own painted papers using tempera paint and 41/2 x 6 pieces of oak tag.
The following art class, they had to choose what to illustrate. I typed the names of 40 different animals and 40 different descriptive words. The words were laminated, cut apart, and placed in 2 separate cups. The students had to choose one word from each cup. Using their own painted papers, scraps from other students, and also fadeless paper, they created their own 1-page illustrations. The resulting pages were bound together into books, 1 per class, and placed in the school library.
After a month, the books will be taken apart and the pages returned to the students. Coincidentally, the books are being finished the same week as our school’s celebration of “Read Across America”. The books will also be used as an art education advocacy tool, by being presented at the March school board meeting.
Next year, I will attempt to collaborate more with the classroom teachers by having the children write a whole story about their chosen word combination. The stories can then be read to lower grades. It seems that the possibilities are endless. If anyone wishes to see an example of the illustrations, we now have a digital camera and I may be able to photograph some and e-mail them to you. The best result is that the students are now asking the librarian for Eric Carle books.
- Submitted by Wendy Campbell
Our first graders viewed the video. We painted tissue paper and cut or tore it to illustrate two of the kids’ favorite songs: “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” We now have two big books to use with future classes as they learn those songs. We plan to expand our classroom library each year with the Eric Carle study.
- Submitted by Mary Jane Hackney
My first graders are absolutely enthralled by Eric Carle’s books. As a culminating activity to our author study, we invite parents to join us for a morning of creativity. We watch the Eric Carle: Picture Writer video and then we paint! Each parent/child pair makes six papers using watercolors. As they dry, the children read aloud from their favorite books. When the papers are dry, the parent and child work together to make a collage of their own. I laminate all finished creations after the artists sign their work. We then have a snack—a sheet cake frosted to look like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Students who are now in high school come back to tell me that they still have their collages! What a wonderful way to celebrate books and reading!