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Eric Carle’s story, From Head to Toe, is brimming with his timeless textured collage animals performing a multitude of actions. Let these images be the inspiration for a class book exploring animals and their habitats in splendid color and texture.
Read “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle. Allow students to perform actions as you read (optional).
Discuss the characters in the book. Talk about the techniques of collage and texture that Eric Carle uses to create his illustrations. Ask students to brainstorm other possible characters and actions/body parts. Prompt students to phrase their answers using the same rhythm and repetition as Eric Carle uses in the book.
Explain to students that they will be making a class book in the same style as Eric Carle. Have students research an animal of their choice and make a list of colors, shapes, motions and habitat details they will need to add to their art.
Set up tables for painting with Crayola© Washable Watercolors, Crayola Watercolor Brushes, water, salt shakers, modeling tools for sgraffito, bubble wrap, sponges etc. Demonstrate different painting techniques to create texture (layering colors, sponging, using fingers, brush ends or tools to etch lines, using salt for color diffusion, altering brush strokes, etc.).
Give each student a piece of white construction paper measuring 9”x12” (2.86 cm x 30.48 cm). Have students divide paper into 4 parts. Instruct students to paint 2 sections the main color of their animal and the other two sections with accent colors (e.g. alligator= 2 greens, 1 black, 1 brown). Each section should use a different texture making technique that was demonstrated.
Once dry, students can add more texture and depth of color by adding some Crayola pastels to their papers. Students cut and assemble their collage animals on another piece of 9”x 12” white or colored construction paper. Encourage students to swap scraps for other colors or use the back of their papers for white. Students can use a black marker to add small habitat details.
Take photos of each student’s work and assemble as a book for the class library or to present to other classes.
Create an original pop-art repetitive portrait based on a study the life and work of Andy Warhol.
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