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Author Study - Eric Carle

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Here are some activities for using Eric Carle books in your classroom.
Eric Carle
Posted by:Lisa #10526

I do an author study with my kindergarten students using Eric Carle's books. There are a lot of resources (his website, The Mailbox magazine, theme books) that provide activities that coordinate with his stories. At our school all the kindergarten classes focus on his books during a month, and we do art, math, self-esteem activities based on them. One class last year made Eric Carle stars (with tissue paper squares)and another class made fireflies complete with white Christmas lights that were hung in the hall. So many of his books are good for math concepts (counting, Rooster's Off To See The World, sequencing, Very Hungry Caterpillar). What you need to do is gather all your Eric Carle books, go to resources and plan it out. As a former intermediate teacher I can tell you that author studies work great in kindergarten. You just need to get...

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Eric Carle Art
Posted by:Heidi Haremski #88952

I have done this! I teach first grade and we study Eric Carle for an author study. I have the class paint their pretty paper on regular art paper because the tissue is so fragile. They then cut out the paper to make their own creation. There is a great video called Eric Carle; Picture Writer that shows how he creates his artwork.

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Eric Carle
Posted by:Stefanie Parker #10746

Use any of his insect books with make counters. We use plastic spiders and read The Very Busy Spider. You could do the same with The Very Lonely Firefly.

You could make graphs of the caterpillars food--which ones were your children's favorite. You could also make graphs of your children's favorite Eric Carle book.

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Eric Carle...Cloud.
Posted by:Sarah D. #87192

Last year, and again this year, we are reading the Cloud book by Eric Carle. It shows the cloud in lots of different shapes. Then I let the kids paint with white on blue paper and create their own cloud shapes. This came out sooooo cute and was a great display.

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Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar
Posted by:Lori 2 #37984

I just thought of a really cute craft my older daughter did in kindergarten with this book.

They took a paper plate -- the real cheap kind -- and drew lines to mark it off in quarters. Then they drew a leaf in each quarter. In the first quarter they glued some rice grains on the leaf to represent the butterfly eggs. In the second quarter they glued a piece of spiral corkscrew macaroni on the leaf to represent the caterpillar. In the third quarter, they glued a piece of shell macaroni hanging from the leaf with the rounded side out to represent the chrysalis. In the last quarter they glued a piece of bowtie macaroni for the butterfly!

It was really cute and was a terrific way to demonstrate a butterfly's life cycle. It could be used with any book talking about butterflies.


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book party
Posted by:stefanie #54551

Every year my students write their own books. We base it on an author study of Eric Carle, and the students choose an animal, research the animal (with help), write their book, I edit, they rewrite, then we illustrate. The cover illustration is done in the collage style Eric Carle uses (the video "Eric Carle: Picture Writer" is great -- he shows all the steps. I use typing paper instead of tissue paper, though -- I have been the tissue paper route, and it is not good!)I laminate all pages and bind books on a binder.
I plan this so that the children make two identical books each: one for them and one for me. I keep my copy in my room in a center, and my former students become "stars" when my current first graders fall in love with a book one of the older ones have written. I call my party a "book party",...

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Posted by:stefanie #50716

When I began teaching, I used Eric Carle books as a springboard for science and social studies. "The Apron" is one I am going to use this week with community helpers, and each child will bring in a "tool" of his mom or dads trade to share with the class. "Pancakes, Pancakes" gave us a great farm unit, and on the final day we dressed as farmers and made pancakes. He has a ton of books about animals and small creatures that are good in science. His web site is below, and there is even a "caterpillar" exchange to see how other teachers have used his books. Hope this helps.

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Grouchy Ladybug Time Activity!
Posted by:Jules #86477

i did a lesson w/my 2nd graders once they'd learned to tell time to the 5 minute mark. first, read The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle to your class. then they can do this activity: draw a large ladybug on white paper. then draw 8 circles as spots about 1 inch in diameter. Draw clock faces on the circles, and make copies for your class. then, partially cut out the circles (you can cut through a few sheets at once to save time!) so the clocks can flip up and you can see underneath. staple the ladybug papers to a red piece of construction paper and have your students choose different times to draw on the clock faces. after that they have to write the digital times underneath them. they can test their friends when they finish, color in their ladybugs, and you have a great bulletin board when you...

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Life cycle of a butterfly
Posted by:Carol #74040

We usually use different shaped macaroni to make a chart to illustrate the life cycle of a butterfly. First we read the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (eventhough it is a picture book it has a lot of basics that are useful for the students). Then we make a chart by dividing a paper plate into fourths and labeling each with a stage in the life cycle of the butterfly. We then glue different types of macaroni to the plate... an elbow for the egg,a fussilli(spiral shape) for the caterpillar, a shell for the chryssalis, and a bowtie for the butterfly. We then decorate the background and write some facts in each section. This is a simple activity but the children really do learn the facts about the life cycle. Sorry about the spelling errors!!

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Idea for you
Posted by:Mrs. L #89568

After reading Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle, have kids finger paint a full sheet of paper with green and have them make lines and streaks in it for texture. Let dry. **Before working with a different color have kids rinse fingers in tubs of water placed at each table. Do the same with another color. Have kids share their dried colored pieces of paper so they can have a variety of colors in their "garden". Then have them cut out shapes of leaves and stems...and tulips out of the colored papers. Have them lay them in layers on top of 12x18 inch white or light colored construction paper. These turn out really cute for a garden BB for spring!

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Try Using The Very Busy Spider
Posted by:Meaghan #69861

I used the Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle to teach dialogue to my 3rd graders. On every other page of this story, an animal asks the spider to do something, but the spider is to busy spinning her web to answer. I did this lesson around Halloween and our class version was for the very busy witch.

First we brainstormed different monsters. Then we brainstormed what they would invite the busy witch to do. Then I modeled a few ways to write the dialogue. Finally, the students wrote and illustrated their own pages.

You could do a version with other animals or do a Christmas version with Santa being too busy packing his sleigh.

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community helpers
Posted by:stefanie parker #48246

I read the Eric Carle book The Apron. Then I send home a form for the parents to send a "tool of their trade", for example, a pastor parent sent a Bible. Nurse parents have sent stethoscopes, etc. When we have these things at school, we share them and discuss how they help our community. Our next unit after that is Pilgrims and Indians, and we tie it together and talk about how they learned to live as a community.

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Book activity
Posted by:NJ Teacher #95360

We have used The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. We used paint brushes to do a background dabbed with splashes of different colors. Then, in construction paper, they made their flower and collaged it on. Students could do some writing about the steps a seed takes to grow, or they could do some poetry. The projects turn out very pretty.

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pancake idea
Posted by:Lisa #55517

I am making pancakes tomorrow to go along with the Eric Carle book, Pancakes, Pancakes. We are going to make them in class and then do the following activities. Graph favorite syrup or jam on pancake for math lesson. Writing lesson will be to write the steps in making them (working on sequencing). Hope this helps. Good luck.

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