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Castles on the Beach

Try an easy art technique to create dramatically colorful paper with paint. Use the student-created art paper to make cut-out collages inspired by trips to the beach.

  • Grade 1
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Share the read aloud At the Beach by Brooke Madison. Have children share what they are viewing in the photographs while reviewing beach vocabulary.
    2. Open a class discussion focused on a trip to the beach. Ask students how many of them have ever been to the beach and what activities they did while there. Who built sand castles? How were they built? What tools might have been used to help build the sand castles? What was the weather like? How did the weather compare to a typical school day? Allow time for students to share their experiences.
    3. Display the artwork of book illustrator, Eric Carle. Point out his use of cutouts from wildly patterned paper to make picture collages. Describe how he forms his shapes without a pencil but with a pair of scissors. Ask students to compare Eric Carle's artwork to that of the photographs in the read aloud At the Beach. How might students interpret both types of art to create a personal beach scene?
    4. Students cover their work areas with recycled newspaper and put on painting smocks. Have available a variety of Crayola® Washable Paint. Place paint in containers with craft sticks or foam brushes. Pre-fold pieces of construction paper and distribute to students.
    5. Show students how to place small dots of different colored paint on one side of their opened paper before folding over and pressing down to spread paint inside the fold. Share the vibrant patterns and blended colors. Students may wish to create several pieces of patterned paper. Set aside to air dry.
    6. Once all paint patterns are completely dry, encourage students to pick a couple of pieces of patterned paper (some other than their own) from the combined pile of dried artwork. Using Crayola Blunt Tip Scissors, show the students how to cut out shape outlines. As they cut, remind students to be thinking about how they will be designing their beach scenes.
    7. Allow class time for students to experiment with the layering an placement of patterned paper on a piece of white paper. Once satisfied with their designs, children use Crayola No-Drip School Glue to make personal collage pictures.
    8. If time permits, allow students to share their designs and talk about how their artwork expresses personal beach experiences.
  • Standards

    LA-Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.

    LA-Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).

    LA-Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

    LA-Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.

    MA-Reason with shapes and their attributes.

    SCI-Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

    VA-Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

    VA-Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

  • Adaptations

    Try this activity during different seasons of the year, using seasonal colors (even try white paint on black paper) with appropriate poems to accompany the work.

    Assign a simple writing exercise such as writing a cinquain (5 line poem).The beginner format goes as follows; Line 1: one word, Line 2: two words, Line 3: three words, Line 4: four words and Line 5: one word. There are more complex patterns that involve syllables or specific types of words. Each student’s cinquain could be copied on to the top of their cutout collage and displayed in the classroom.

    Visit online the museum that Eric Carle started called the Museum of Picture Book Art. Learn more about Eric Carle’s life and work; check out suggested art activities.


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