Rock & Roll.
PB & J.
Art & Literature.
Some things are just meant to go together. When you take the visual excitement of amazing art, and add the excitement of a wonderfully crafted story, you enhance them both!
There are lots of fun ways to mix art and literature, and as kids get older and start reading the classics, there are magnificent artworks to explore. for the elementary age crowd, let's take a look at someone who is both a popular storyteller, and an amazingly creative artist.
Today let's explore the fantastic world of Eric Carle.
First, read some storybooks
Most homes have at least one Eric Carle book on a shelf somewhere, and even if you don't have any of his books at your house, your kids are likely familiar with his work. They are easily available at any library... so go and spend an afternoon reading them all, or check them out and have an Eric Carle story party at your house leading up to this project.
If you live near Amherst , Massachusetts, you can even visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!
Next, invite kids to make their own Eric Carle inspired book
This is a two part process. Writing and illustrating. Your kids can choose for themselves which order seems right for them. Some kids prefer to write the story, and then create the art, and other kids like to map out the visuals, and then fill in the words later. There is no right or wrong way to go about it.
Have a conversational brainstorming session with your kids about what you read, and what they'd like to write about. You could choose another animal, some theme from nature, or anything else that interests them... robots, cars, ballet, the ocean, friendship, etc!
You can create a simple book for them to work in by just folding letter sized printer paper or construction paper in half. Later, when the book is done, you (or they) can staple it, sew the spine, or just secure it with a binder clip.
Now it's time to write & illustrate.
To create art like Eric Carle's, you'll need to work in phases. It's a little time consuming, but totally worth it for the amazing end result!
Step 1- Color your tissue paper
Eric Carle's images are created by cutting and collaging with paper he colors by hand! You can do the same thing at home with items you probably already have.
Get some white tissue paper and some paint (you can use watercolors, watered down tempera, or even a soak a few dried up markers in a little cup of water to release the color).
Apply the color to the tissue. Try to do at least one sheet of each color (or more if you know you'll need a lot of a certain color). Tell kids they can vary the way they apply the color to get different effects. Use a brush, a sponge, a paper towel, or anything else that will work for them. Try doing straight lines of color, wavy designs, swirls, etc! Mix it up and have fun!
Work outside, in the bathtub, or on a large drop cloth to protect your area. Be careful not to soak the paper, or it might rip. (But even if it does rip, save it– it's still usable!) Lay it on a drying rack, over your towel racks, or outside (if it's not too windy) to dry.
When it's dry, kids can cut it into shapes, and tape them into their book. They may want to plan ahead and sketch out "templates" for the illustrations they want to create, or they may just want to jump in and create freestyle. It's up to them.
Have fun and be sure to show off their masterpieces in our fun and fabulous facebook group, or post a pic on instagram and use our hashtag– #arthistorykids!