Friday, May 13, 2011

Animal collage à la Eric Carle

Grade Level : this lesson was made with 1st graders . But as always it can be adapted with any grade .

Motivation : This lesson was inspired by one of my favorite children book illustrator and author :Eric Carle . You can read one of his books prior to the art lesson .

Materials : * White tissue paper

*Food coloring

* Water

* Some spray bottles

* Construction paper (to draw the outline of your animal )

* White Paper

* Black Paper

* Scissors

* Glue

* Pencil

* Crayons

Vocabulary : Collage : an artistic composition made of various materials (as paper , cloth , wood ,etc ,) glue on a surface .

Outline : drawing of the outer edge of something .

Sketch : rough drawing .

Resources : I found a lot of information about Eric Carle or about lesson ideas on the internet . The most important site would be the Eric Carle Official Webiste . It is a gold mine of information about Eric Carle !
Other websites that have lessons inspired by Eric Carle are the followings :
* Pre-kindergarten lesson

*Another Eric Carle Collage

And I am sure there plenty more out there !There is also a very good
DVD about him and his work : Eric Carle:Picture Writer .You can show that to your students .
And of course many of his books are a great source of inspiration for the project !

Eric Carle's Biography: Eric Carle was born in Syracuse , New York , in 1929 , from German parents. He moved back with his parents to Germany when he was 6 years old (His mom was homesick and missed Germany) . He went to school there and graduated from a prestigious art school ( the Academie der bildenden Künste ) Eric Carle missed America and so in 1952 he came back to New York with only 40 dollars in his pocket . He worked as a graphic designer in the promotion department of the New York Times . He also worked for many
years as an art director of an advertising agency . After creating an advertisement with a red lobster , the author Bill Martin , noticed him and asked him to illustrate his story Brown Bear , Brown Bear , What do you see ? That's when his career as a book illustrator started . He , then , decided to write and to illustrate his own stories for children , including his famous story : The Very Hungry Caterpillar . This story was translated in 45 languages and was sold all over the world !
Eric Carle's art is created in collage technique . He uses hand-painted papers , which he cuts to create his wonderful and delightful illustrations .
For more information on Eric Carle visit his official website .

Activity : This lesson may be made over 2 days . The first day the children will work on making their own tissue paper using spray bottles and food coloring . The second day they will create their animal .
Day 1 : (1) You will mix some food coloring with water in a spray bottle (you may want to have one or two of each color ).
(2) Every student will have three or four pieces of white tissue paper . They will make their own COLORFUL tissue paper by spraying some food coloring (mixed with water in those spray bottles) on the white tissue paper . (They should not spray too much at a time so their tissue paper will not stick to the table !) They can apply one color to start with , and then add a second or even a little bit of a third color to make their tissue paper .
(3) Let it dry !

Day 2 : (1) Each student should decide what animal they would like to create . It can be an elephant , a turtle , a dog , a cat ,a butterfly , etc.
(2) On a piece of construction paper they should make a sketch of this animal .
(3) They should cut the outline of their animal .
(4) The students should now trace the outline of their animal on their colorful tissue paper .
(5) Step five will be to cut the colorful tissue paper and put it on the white paper . Once they like the way it look they should glue the tissue paper on the white paper .
(6) The students can now add details to their animal with crayons or with a black felt pen .
(7) The final and last step will be to glue the white paper onto a black paper .

Examples : Examples of tissue paper and tissue paper set .....

And her are some examples of animal collages . Enjoy !