Monday, October 10, 2011

Being Eric Carle

Okay, so I am not on Fall Break or do I have one in the future, but today was Florida's State In-service Day. The kids had the holiday off. Not us. Sad! :( 
At my school, we've been hounded for the past month to make sure we sign up for workshops because we were required to attend workshops all day long. No comp time either. Geez, do they think we'll go to the beach or something? Have they seen my gigantic, falling over, pile of paperwork??

Anyway, this in-service day means that my district has to provide workshops for us to attend. Typically, I will attend workshops that I think will be worthwhile but then I get there and discover that it is really geared towards 3rd grade and up. Just no love for the primary teachers!

Well, when I saw that there were some workshops at our local Art Museum, I quickly registered to secure my spot. I'm not wasting any more time on workshops that I get nothing out of. Seriously, I was hoping that I may learn how to become a better artist.  Maybe my work can look cute like most of you talented teachers out there!

The first session was good. We appreciated art and how we can apply it to some reading strategies within our lessons (and, yes, this was geared for the upper grades, whateves...)

Hold the phone folks, the second session was A-MAZ-ING!
We had so much fun. The instructor was a local elementary art teacher.
She taught us how to make art and teach it to our kids in the style of the great  author/illustrator Eric Carle.

Let's hear it: Oooo! Aaaaa!

THAT is something I made! My own mother wouldn't believe it.

What's great is our instructor has used this lesson with Kindergarten and 1st graders.
And they could do it! Oh, yeah!

This is how she does it:

Start with this nice sheet of finger paint white paper and have the kids section it off for each part of the picture. {We used the goldfish from Brown Bear, Brown Bear}

The student will paint each section of the paper. Show them how to mix colors to make new colors, make dots, splashes, or use the back of the paint brush and make scratches. Be creative!

She drew the fish herself on the white paper. I can do that, right?
The fish has been photocopied for each student. They cut the body out of the picture.

Lay it on the painted section for the body, trace it, and cut it out.

Lay your copied goldfish paper {with the body section cut out} on a piece of white cardstock or tagboard. Glue your colorful head on. We used just white Elmer's glue.

Do the same procedure with each section of the fish until it is done.

Afterwards, we decided to use any scraps from the painted leftovers to add details to our pictures. I made sure to take pictures of some of the other ladies' art work. They are sooo cute!

Our instructor says that she uses many of Eric Carle books in this style. The K kids make the Very Hungry Caterpillar, the older kids will get a more difficult picture like the Very Grouchy Ladybug.

Oh, wait, that was not all. She also showed us how she incorporates science by dissecting squids! Apparently, when the kids get to dissect their own squid and really learn each part of the squid's body, their artwork is better because it stems from that hands-on experience. Huh? Go, figure... hehehe
Oh, please, disregard my hair. LAZY morning for me!

She was right! Although, everyone at my table said my squid looked a bit phallic. Which was NOT my intention. They have those fins at the top, I swear!

All in all, it was a fun day. I have a million and one things to do in my room and at home, but it was so nice to take the time and enjoy art!

Support your Creative Arts Programs!!!

Goldfish Art


  1. what an amazing workshop well I couldn't do the last part EWW :)

    thanks for sharing the template!!! my girls will love this art project :)

  2. omgosh! I'm so jealous of your workshop...although our workshop day was Friday...and we had school today. I can't WAIT to do this with our Eric Carle author of the month!

  3. You were cracking me up!!! GREAT ART PROJECT!!!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  4. You made me giggle. Thank you for sharing. I can't wait to do this.

  5. Ok - I'm jealous! I teach in Florida and everyone - teachers and kids had a regular day today :( the project!

  6. What a wonderful way to spend the day. I can only imagine the artwork your kids will be able to create because you had the hands on opportunity.

  7. Thank you for the creative post! You made me smile with your creation!
    Glad you enjoyed you artful day!