Friday, March 30, 2012

Storybook Artist Unit Studies: Eric Carle

Awhile back, I found this Free Printable Storybook Artist Unit Studies Curriculum made by Jill at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.

The curriculum utilizes Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art by Eric Carle to introduce art through children's books.  You have probably realized by now that I have a weak spot for children's books, so I loved the premise of this curriculum.  It's a great way for me to start somewhere comfortable and work my way up to artist studies and art history, and I know it is something that even my two year old would be able to enjoy.

I won't be following it exactly as laid out, mostly because it's not in my bones to follow lesson plans.  I am just not detailed, and with the boys being on the younger side, I want to keep it simple this year.  More than likely, as I did today, I'll just use it as a starting point, and just go with the flow.

Since Emory chose The Very Hungry Caterpillar out of our spring book basket, I decided we should go ahead and start with Eric Carle.

I browsed the suggested ideas and links in the curriculum, and one of the activities was an Eric Carle inspired snowman, but since we're celebrating spring, I browsed that website and found a general tutorial for Eric Carle Inspired Art Lessons which Elliott liked.

The boys used larger brushes to paint the entire page red.

I then gave the boys a variety of brushes to paint stripes and circles.  I didn't worry about complimentary colors, as suggested on the website.  I let the boys choose their own colors.  I do give them a little guidance, but I want both the process and the product to be their own.

They both chose red to start, and blue as a second color (Emory almost always chooses whatever Elliott chooses), so of course we ended up with varying shades of purple with a pink background.

The third step suggested texture tools, so I gave the boys an old comb and an old toothbrush to scrape their paint.  They really enjoyed this step!

The boys ended up making two paintings using this process, but Emory wanted to draw a caterpillar for me to cut out...this was where we ended up stopping.  We will finish it only if he chooses.

Elliott however, wanted his first painting to be a caterpillar, and the second to be the butterfly after it emerged from its chrysalis.  He wanted his caterpillar to have a face, antennae and legs like the caterpillar on the front of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which he added.

The second painting was red, blue and orange, and we used it to cut out two butterflies.

Elliott really liked his final product!  I think we'll try to do another lesson from the Eric Carle section of the curriculum next week, though I want to move on to Petra Mathers and use The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders for April's National Poetry Month.

Shibley Smiles

Also Linked Up:  Sharing Saturday, Link & Learn


  1. LOVE it Brittney! I am so glad that you and your boys are able to use some of the curriculum that I created. I also really appreciate that you have shared with your readers how you can take a curriculum and use it as a reference but you do not have to do the lessons exactly as they are listed or suggested. Our family will begin using my Storybook Artists curriculum in July (since that is when our new school year begins). I would love for you to link up to my posts at that time. This is the first time I have seen anyone share that they were using my Storybook Artists curriculum. Great work, you and your boys just made my day!

    1. I'd be happy to link up and I can't wait to see your family's art and how you envisioned the curriculum to look! I went ahead and started now (as opposed to this fall) because I don't do all subjects every day, or week, and I know I'll skip around to meet our needs. I probably would follow the lessons a little more closely, but I didn't want my youngest (2) to be left out. I'm just thankful for someone like you, who is creative and detailed and can put together lesson plans, and is kind enough to share them for free. That way people like me, who are fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants can still have great lessons to follow!

  2. Your final products are so pretty! What a fun way to paint!

    Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I have pinned this post.

  3. What cute art, and thanks for the link to the curriculum, I'm off to check it out!

  4. These turned out really cute! Love how the texturing affected them!

  5. I love all of these ideas. So very creative :) Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Sharing Saturday. hope to see you again next week.

  6. I'm planning a Hungry Caterpillar party for my little one's first birthday, but there will be toddlers there and I want to have some art activities. This one looks great!