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Here are the ideas people submitted for integrating children's books with art projects. I am not listing the contributor by each activity, but I have that information if someone wants it. The books are listed alphabetically by title, with author and then activity listed. They are in all kinds of forms, but all are wonderful. I hope you can use them. There's a lot of effort going on here!
Thanks to everyone...these are great ideas!!! I hope some of them make their way into your classrooms.
Part 1 (of 2):
A Blue Butterfly: A story about Claude Monet
by Bijou Le Tord
Summery: From the Publisher
In a garden of spectacular beauty in Giverny, France, Claude Monet painted flowers. Dazzled by the light, he painted with rich colors of vermilion, emerald, and violet. His poppies, tulips, irises, and waterlilies have awed the world. In her radiant watercolors, Bijou Le Tord uses Monet's own palette of only eight colors. Her magnificent paintings and poetic words
celebrate the extraordinary vision of the beloved impressionist painter,
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover (September 1995)
Doubleday; ISBN: 0385311028
Plunge in with a Sponge
* Various colors of tempera paint
* 12"x18" paper
* Paint Palette
* Monet Reproductions
* Wildflower pictures from Texas Highways
1. Display the reproductions
2. Display the photographs
3. Challenge the Children to create their own wildflower garden using the sponges
4. Children dip the sponges in the paint and apply it to the paper.
5. Encourage the children to overlap colors and use varying amounts of paint.
Any fairy tale
manila tag or other heavy card paper
- children draw in pencil the shape of a castle on the tag and add doors, turrets, windows, whatever
- place glue along the lines created for the castle and other details, shapes
- pour sand over the picture
- shake off excess and you have a 'sand' castle
can be then extended into the sand center by adding more water to the sandbox so that 'real' sand castles can be created
- the felts are for the children to add details as they choose such as flags, kings, queens, guards etc. once the castle has been created.
by Te Amata (?)
discarded wallpaper books
1. Read story. Discuss the illustrations, which are paper collage.
2. Create a class folk tale to illustrate using collage (or for time sake, re-illustrate Baby Rattlesnake).
3. Either in pairs, or individually, take a page of the text and create new collage illustrations, using the wallpaper.
4. Publish this as a class book and share with other classes!
Blueberries for Sal
After reading the book, children glue little silver 'buckets' to white paper as their frame for the 'blueberries' they are about to make. Be ready with Art smocks since this can be done with blue paint as kids 'fingerdot' berries on top of the bucket but the more fun way is with real berries and we all know how colorful those can be!!
white paper, glue, silver paper/precut (or wallpaper 'buckets' as a variation), blueberries
Foam Tray Collage
Materials: Foam trays, dyed pasta, beans, yarn Styrofoam stuffing, torn paper, cardboard tubes (cut into small tubes), corrugated cardboard, glue
Process: Since we had some discontinued foam trays which were black, we dyed the sticks and cardboard with yellow food coloring. The children arranged the collected items on their trays and then used white glue to set them in place.
Saran Wrap Art
Materials: white art paper, primary colors of tempera, saran wrap
Process: Wet white paper, dab splotches of slightly watered down tempera. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the wet paint and students squish the plastic wrap together. Let it partially dry, then remove the wrap to dry. Mount on construction paper.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
By Bill Martin Jr.
Halloween White Ghost, White Ghost
A group of preschoolers adapted " to a Halloween theme. The original purpose was to enhance literacy awareness and remove the scary out of Halloween. We brainstormed what we might see on Halloween night and then followed the Brown Bear predictable text. We used various media to decorate our pages, i.e. a crumples tissue was glued down for a ghost (some gave it eyes, others didn't). a witches hat was paper shapes (triangle and rectangle) pumpkin was a stamped sponge, a small brown sack was colored or stickered and then glued onto the page for a trick or treat bag (name was added by student or teacher). No two were alike which was great! We did this over a period of time, the books had construction paper covers with the title depending upon the order the child put their characters in and then stapled. A good time was had by all!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
By Bill Martin, Jr.
Carle Style Art
use several colors of finger-paint on one sheet of paper and when dry various animals were cut from similar to Carl's style.
by Mercer Mayer
liquid bubbles (or make your own)
1 Children blow bubbles and lay paper on top of bubbles. Don't immerse.
2 Children blow bubbles onto paper.
3 We use traditional bubble wands, then experiment with paper towel tubes, pipe cleaners, etc.
4 Do this again at end of year, using stationary paper and envelopes to create parent gifts.
Charlie Needs a Cloak
by Tomie dePaola
Dye and Weave
Do weaving projects, since the story is about him weaving a cloak. I have also done fabric dyeing, which is a good extension of color mixing. We discuss ways that primitive people dyed fabric (Charlie uses berries to dye his wool, in
the story). One year we had a real weaver come in and talk. She spoke of her craft and how the cochinea (sp?) bug that lives on prickly pear cactus is used to make a beautiful red dye. I later found a bunch of prickly pear cactus that had the bugs on it, brought it in and, following her instructions, we did make a red dye for our fabric!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Bill Martin Jr.
2 real coconuts
paint (in dish pans)
large box ( like a sweater box for under the bed)
Outside project - working in pairs, on the grass
This is a variation of marble painting. I precut paper to fit box. Children get paint on their hands. Children dip coconuts in paint and put in box. They tip the box back and forth
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Bill Martin Jr.
or any other ABC
supplies: magazines (students will cut out letters)
white or colored paper for background
We discuss letter shapes and how we can make them into "other things",
Procedure: 1. Select a number of magazine letters of various sized & colors.
2. Cut out these letters (neatly).
3. Combine 2 or more letter to create figures, scenes or a design.
4.Arrange and glue the letters to the background paper.
Pudding Painting with Corduroy
*Chocolate instant pudding (prepared according to pkg. directions) (approx. 1/4 cup per student)
*A tagboard (oaktag) cutout shape of a bear's body (one per student) (approx. 12"X18")
*A pattern of overalls run on green construction paper (made to fit the tagboard bear shape)
*One button for each student
Give each child a bear shape and a small container of chocolate pudding. Fingerpaint the entire shape with the pudding. Let dry overnight. The next day, the students cut out the overalls and glue onto the bear. Glue one button onto the shoulder strap, but leave the other one empty (to go along with the story). Use the crayons to add features to make the face.
Draw Me A Star
by Eric Carle
Pre-cut white stars
Children cut tissue in small scraps and arrange in desired design on star, 'painting' each piece on with a watered brush. Let dry (app. 30 mins.) and remove for a beautiful effect of colors.
by David McKee
Materials: white paper, tempera paint, rope or twine, "junk" for printing-potato masher, sponges, blocks, bristle blocks, combs, forks, strawberry baskets, and small
Process: The children listened to the book Elmer by David McKee. In the story all the elephants paint themselves to be like Elmer, the patchwork elephant. The children drew a
large elephant and chose a background color for their elephant. Then they used the various "junk" items to decorate the elephants.
Elmer is a patchwork elephant who wants to be gray like his friends. He paints himself with berries, but finds his friends miss his uniqueness and sense of humor. They decide to have an Elmer parade each year where they each paint themselves with wild colors and Elmer paints himself gray. There is a really colorful parade at the end of the book and this is where we did the art project. Lots of fun and very unique elephants.
Have You Seen My Cat
Cat on Texture Background
water color paint
assorted texture objects (I have a "junk" collection, old bristle blocks, sink brushes, combs, etc.)
1 Children create a background by using paint and object to create a "texture". Let this dry.
2 Children draw, water color, and cut out cat.
3 Glue cat on backdrop. I like to tie these together to make a quilt.
Eric Carle Collage Pages for a Big Book
Kids painted tissue paper with acrylic paints using some of Carle's techniques(and wearing smocks). Each class did a collaborative story; then groups of kids worked together to create collage pages for a big book. I printed the words out and put the books together for them.
Eric Carle book Eric Carle Look Alike
I have let the kids make illustrations that look "Eric Carle like". I give them a piece of white construction paper and tissue paper. They can lay out the tissue paper squares to look like one of his illustrations or make up one of their own. To glue, use a mix of glue and water and a paintbrush. They can add any extras, eyes etc, with a marker. For both ideas, I have done them with 3 yr. olds and Kindergartners. It's
amazing the differences you get between the age groups! With the fruit...it works great if you later want to act out the story. The kids love using the props that they made!
Eric Carle books
The Mixed Up Chameleon
Hello, Red Fox Eric Carle Website
Any (lesson on collage) is really popular with K-5 and check out the website www.eric-carle.com there is a wonderful lesson on color
Feathers for Lunch
by Lois Ehlert
Lois Elhert Look Alike Collage
Much of her work centers on the theme of nature.
Discuss the collages on each page. Note the layering that is visible. Assign 2-3 children to a page and provide each group with a piece of tagboard (12"x24" for a big book). Remind the children to keep the piece of tagboard vertical (tall) so that all of the pages will be the same format. Provide pieces of construction paper and bottles of glue. Make the book available for reference, if needed.
Ask each group to recreate a page of the book by tearing the construction paper and gluing down in the appropriate order (ex. The tree trunk would be Glued down first with the woodpecker layered on top). After the pages dry... laminate and punch holes down the left side of each so that the pages can be attached with metal binder rings.
Feathers for Lunch
By Lois Elhert
Paint with Feathers
This beautifully illustrated book teaches young children all about birds. After reading the story: set out paper, paint and feathers and encourage toddlers to paint freestyle.
Paper, paint, feathers.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
By Jan Brett
Brett Side Boxes
Jan Brett has wonderful sidebars in her illustrations.
As a class look carefully at the illustrations and discuss the use of the side boxes and the action contained therein.
Provide children with paper (I use the large copy paper... approx. 17x22) which has been prepared ahead of time with approx. 2 inch side boxes when the paper is placed in a horizontal position. These can simply be drawn with a straight edge.
Read a familiar story such as the three pigs or the gingerbread boy. Have the children illustrate a scene and then they can illustrate what else was occurring with other characters "behind the scenes" in the side boxes.
I always play classical music when working on these types of art projects. We call it our "brain" music!
Growing Vegetable Soup
by Lois Ehlert
Vegetable Brayer Prints
materials: various vegetables, cut in halves
tempera paint or water soluble ink
paint brushes or brayers
paper for printing
1. Brush or roll ink onto vegetable (cross section of the veggie works best)
2. Press onto paper to make a print.
3. Use the printed paper as a book cover for your own
story about veggies, gardening, etc.
Another idea I've done with this story is to make vegetable masks: The students choose a veggie and draw it large on tag board. I cut out a hole for their face. The student paints his/her mask to match a real veggie. Then we made up riddles based on their veggie and shared them with another class.
One other thing with this story: A mosaic of the steps a seed follows in becoming a plant. Using wallpaper scraps, cut the colors needed into small squares. Lightly sketch out the design: (from L to R) a seed underground, a small seedling pushing through the surface, a tall plant coming out of the ground. This is all done with mosaic pieces. This one was done in small groups on large paper. The results were awesome!
Harold and the Purple Crayon
One Line Yarn Pictures in a Row
yarn (any color)
cut a long piece of yarn and the children glue into a design
freezer paper or butcher paper / crayon, marker, etc (my kids like roller paint bottles)
Tape a long piece in hall, or on floor. Divide with marker into sections. I like to work with a group of 3 or 4. First starts a picture, finishes and continues the line to the new section, next takes the roller paint and continues ....
Have You Seen My Cat?
By Eric Carle
Class Book, Eric Carle Style
The result of this project will be a class book. However, it is not a quick project. It takes about two to three days to complete, but it is worth it!
18" x 24" white construction paper, you will need two sheets for every student
Lots and lots of tissue paper squares in a variety of colors
Watered down white glue that is the consistency of paint
Two light colors of tempera paint ( I usually suggest orange/white or yellow/white)
A stencil that is in the shape of a cat (make your own)
Copies of the phrase: "Have you seen my cat? This is not my cat! This is ____________'s cat!"
A picture of a cat or your own cat (if you have one, of course!)
Each child should write his name on the back of a piece of white construction paper. Then on the front, start painting the tissue paper squares on the construction paper with the watered down glue. This is a great time to discuss over lapping the tissue paper squares. The children are fascinated with the different colors the tissue makes as they are over
lapping with one another. This tissue painting will take some time. Once the paper is filled with tissue papers, it needs to dry over night. The next day, have the child take his construction paper and sponge paint lightly over the tissue paper. Before the child sponge paints, I like to take the two paint colors and lightly swirl them into each other. Also, I
demonstrate how to lightly sponge paint. I tell the children if they really love the sponge painting and they want to do more, lightly, heavy, neatly or messy that I will give them lots of extra paper to do so. Let the sponge painting dry over night. The next day, when their artwork is dry, I tell them we are going to make our cats out of the tissue paper project. I give them a choice as to whether they would like to trace one of the cat stencils that I made or they can draw and construct their own cats. Also, we discuss "detail" (no pun intended!) and brainstorm things we can add on our cats using the left
over scraps of our tissue paper project. We talk about adding eyes, whiskers, a nose, etc. Then the children cut out their cat and glue it on the second piece of white construction paper. After that, they take the written phrases "Have you seen my cat? This is not my cat! This is ________'s cat!" and write their name in the blank space. Then they need to glue this on the same piece of construction paper that they attached their cat. Once each child has created his page, we begin to put the entire book together. After the cover page, I write "One day Mrs./Miss/Mr. (use your own last name) could not find her cat. So, she went everywhere and asked all of her students . . . . . " Next, insert the pages of the student's art work. On the last page, write, "This is my cat!" and glue a picture of your very own cat or a magazine picture. Once the children have had many opportunities to read their class book, we take it to the school library so other children in the school can check it
out, too! I do have photos of the finished project if you are interested. I can mail them via email or snail mail.
It Looked Like Spilt Milk
taking white BioColor paint and making blobs on acetate or
Plexiglas. When it dries, they can have stickers to tell the story on a smooth surface.
It Looked Like Split Milk
Shaving Cream Puffs
I use glue and shaving cream mixed together to make the clouds. It dries "puffy" instead of flat.
Mix white glue and shaving cream. Plop on paper, and/or shape into clouds. This dries puffy.
Linnea in Monet's Garden
Little Blue and Little Yellow
by Leo Lionni
Cellophane Blue and Yellow
Each year, when we read, the children paint with blue and yellow. They discover how the shades of green are made and paint representations of the characters in the book. I also encourage them to make the characters with blue cellophane and yellow cellophane. When the cellophane characters hug(come together) they turn green, just like in the story!
Little Blue and Little Yellow
By Leo Lionni
Two friends, Little blue and Little Yellow hug. They turn green and their parents do not recognize them. Turning Green
- blue and yellow cellophane
- construction paper- scissors
-blue and yellow paint
1 Have the children cut out various shapes with the cellophane.
2 The children can overlap the colors(enabling them to turn green) and glue, tape, or staple them together.
3 Artwork can be taped to the window for a stained glass effect.
Variations or Extensions
- Children can cut holes out of construction paper and use the cellophane pieces to fill them in.
- Children can make hoops with blue and yellow construction paper and fill each center with a piece of cellophane. This work can also serve as the characters(puppets) to act out the story.
- Have children use blue and yellow paint to make various shades of green.
Lucy's Big Mistake
Making Mistakes is OK
about a girl who makes a mistake, her teacher won't give her a new paper, she has to figure out how to use her mistake to make something else.
Coffee Filter M ice
colored water in cups
Dip into water, dry, cut into mice shapes.
Cut into mice shapes and dip.
Use plastic mice to make tracks through paint to combine colors
Spray bottles with liquid water color to spray on coffee filters, paper ,etc.
Children create mosaics with tissue and let dry. They can draw any shape, animal, etc. and cut out. My children like to draw animals and put on sticks for puppets. I springboard this into creative writings.
By Barbara Cooney, Puffin Books (a division of Penguin).
Follows a girlıs life, wondering what she will give to the world... she beautifies it by planting lupine seeds.
-9 X 12 sheet of white paper
-Paint (blue, purple, pink, green)
-brushes, soap and water
1. Read the book and discuss
2. (Have some lupine available to place on tables if possible)
3. Paint long stems...using brushes
4. Use fingers to place "dots" up and down stems, creating a "lovely lupine" picture!
Variations or Extensions
- Discuss other ways to make our world more beautiful. This can lead to discussions of recycling, planting flowers, painting a fence, etc. Follow up on possible extensions...
Miss Spider's Tea Party
Tea Party Clay Play
We read the book then made coils of clay into cups and used cookie cutters To cut circle shapes out of slabs of clay for dishes. We decorated our Pieces by attaching bugs to the handles., and then made all the animals we Would invite to our party out of clay with crazy party hats on! This could be adapted to Model Magic or play-do or for older kids, Sculpey.
More Spaghetti I Say
======= and ================
author Sticky Spaghetti Art
glue - white or colored
small pieces of yarn
Styrofoam meat trays or plates
Children mix spaghetti and glue. Add sequins, etc. Spread out on meat tray to let dry. When the top is dry, pull off tray and turn over. We call these spaghetti window catchers, and hang on string.
One activity that comes to mind is for "mouse paint; I love to have the kids take off their shoes and socks and "recreate" the footprint trails messy, takes multiple adults,
I set big cans of watered down paint (red, yellow and blue) out on the playground and have the kinders take off their shoes and socks. One at a time, they step into a paint pan, then tell me which color of paint they would like to create (orange, green or purple). Then they patter a few steps over to the second primary color paint, step into that, and patter their new secondary foot prints around and over to the custodian -- who delights in hosing off their little bare feet!! We even got the gym teacher involved with running little colored relayss while the rest of the class waited to print their feet When we are finished, the patterns from the colored feet prints look awesome on the playground and they fade away after a few good rains -- or after a hardy South Dakota winter!
My Head is Full of Colors
by Catherine Friend
Whatıs in Your Head??
We read the book and then discussed all of the things that our heads could be full of, i.e. our individual interests. I gave the children an outline of a head shape. They cut out the shape, drew their face, and then instead of hair they glued on what they thought their head was full of like books cut out of a scholastic newsletter, small numerals, small letters, pictures of animals cut from a magazine, etc. We mounted these on colored construction paper and underneath their head with the unusual "hair" we wrote , "My (or you could substitute the child's name - Margaret's) head is full of _________. (Animals, books, numbers, ice-cream, etc) The class loved this activity and all of the heads made a cute display on the bulletin board for open house.
continued in part 2