Help students strengthen their visual-spatial skills by working on these projects.
About the Book
Eric Carle's gorgeous collage illustrations and playful text encourage children to learn about animal mothers and their babies. The story, written in repetitive text using a question-and-answer format, invites children and adults to read together. The end of the book contains a page that provides readers with additional information about the names of baby animals, their parents, and the correct animal group name.
Throughout this lesson, students will learn scientific information, expand their vocabulary, and enhance their social concepts about animals.
Explain to students that you will be reading a story about baby animals. Engage students in a discussion about baby animals. What do they already know about baby animals? Ask students to describe how baby animals and human babies are similar. How are animal mothers and human mothers and fathers similar?
Animal Vocabulary Cards
- Oak-tag sheets
- Clear contact paper
- Sentence strips
- Velcro tape
Set-Up and Prepare
- Photocopy the pages of the book depicting each of the animals.
- Glue each photocopied page onto a sheet of oak-tag paper and cover with clear contact paper. These will be the animal cards.
- Refer to the last page of the book to create a word list to be used for the different animal cards. Write the specific animal names for the babies and the mother animals on separate pieces of sentence strip paper.
- Cover each strip with clear contact paper.
- Place a piece of Velcro tape on the back of each word and a corresponding piece on the bottom of each animal card, leaving enough space so that the word strips do not overlap.
Step 1: During group time, read and discuss Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? Then show students the animal cards with the vocabulary words attached. Explain to students that the words are the specific animal names for the mother and the baby animal.
Step 2: Read each card and the corresponding words with students. Ask students to compare the animal vocabulary cards. How many of the cards have similar words? Which words have they heard before? How have they heard these words used? Which words were new words?
Step 3: Invite small groups of students to take turns playing with the cards. Remove all of the word strips from each animal card. Place the words in a pile. Have students take turns choosing a word and attaching it to the appropriate animal card.
Step 4: Place the animal cards and words with the book for students to use and refer to during work time.
Animal Family Collages in the Style of Eric Carle
Note: This project will take several days to complete.
- Several Eric Carle books
- Chart paper
- Finger paint in multiple colors
- Finger-paint paper, one sheet per student
- Craft sticks or cotton swabs
- Child safety scissors
- Collage Materials
- Construction paper
- Tissue paper
- Wrapping paper or fabric scraps
- Animal-print paper
- Sentence strips, one strip per student
- Optional: Camera
Step 1: During group time, show students several Eric Carle books. Explain to students that Eric Carle both writes and illustrates his books. Encourage students to look at the illustrations in the different books. Pass the books around so that students can look closely at the pages.
Step 2: Engage students in a discussion about Eric Carle's illustrations. Write students' ideas on the chart paper.
Step 3: Tell students that they will create animal collages in the style of Eric Carle. Explain that they will first use finger paint to create the background of their collage.
Note: If you can, photograph the children as they engage in each step of the project. See Documenting the Process for ideas.
Step 4: Invite students to the art area in small groups. Give each student a sheet of finger-paint paper. Provide students with a variety of finger-paint colors to encourage creativity and individuality. Encourage students to mix the colors and create designs with their fingers. Students can use small craft sticks or cotton swabs to draw into the paint or create designs with other colors.
Step 5: After each small group is finished painting, place the finished finger paintings aside to dry.
Step 6: The next day, prepare the art area with the suggested collage materials, scissors, and glue. Give students their finger paintings to use as the background of their animal collages. Tell students that they will use the materials to make an animal. Encourage students to tear paper, cut out shapes, or draw pictures of animals and glue them onto the finger painted background.
Note: Some students may want to look at pictures of animals to stimulate their ideas. You may want to use the animal vocabulary cards that were created in the first activity.
Step 7: Attach a sentence strip to the bottom of each student's picture. When students are finished with their collages, invite them to write or dictate short stories about their pictures.
Step 8: Encourage students to share their finished work during group time.
- Photograph students during each step of the Animal Family Collages activity.
- Print or develop the photographs.
- Share the photographs you took during the activity with students and ask them to arrange the photographs in sequential order.
- Glue the photographs onto a large sheet of paper in sequential order.
- Write students' descriptions of each photograph in captions.
- Create an additional language-experience chart to summarize the art experience.
- Create a display to document the process of the art project. Display the first and last language-experience charts, the photographs, and the students' drawings.