Monday, June 24, 2013

Let's Celebrate Eric Carle's Birthday!

by Susan Stephenson,

It's Eric Carle's birthday on 24/6. What a great day this is for renewing our acquaintance with Carle's books! The Very Hungry Caterpillar is definitely still my favourite. You can hear and see it read aloud by Virginia on Vimeo.

It would also be a wonderful day for exploring collage techniques with your kids. Take a look at some of Carle's books like The Bad-Tempered Ladybird (The Grouchy Ladybug in the US) or The Very Quiet Cricket (vimeo version) and encourage kids to speculate how the illustrations may have been created. Carle himself tells us he started with tissue paper and painted patterns on it using brushes and stamps like carpet pieces and sponge.

Let's check out some more resources and activities we can use to help us celebrate:

* The Official Eric Carle Website One of my favourite pages at Eric Carle's website shares resources on how to create Eric Carle-style art, in particular, this pdf on creating a collage using tissue paper. I also like the ideas on this page for follow-up activities to The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

* Eric Carle's blog

* Get to Know Eric Carle - Youtube, below

* Eric Carle Author Study at Scholastic

* Caterpillar Word Game  A great activity to share with kids for Eric Carle's birthday, or indeed for Very Hungry Caterpillar Day on March 20, would be to use a caterpillar template to play word games. Kids could add sounds and double sounds (with plastic letters or letters written on small cards) to the caterpillar body segments on paper or card until they make a word they recognise. This would also be a fun game to try outside as a kind of hopscotch. I've tried to show you with my sketch below.

* Innovate on the text  Carle uses repetition and simple formats in his stories, and that makes them accessible to kids to use as text models they can innovate on. Try The Very Hungry Caterpillar's "On Monday, he …… but he was still…." with kids. Making a book with holes in to show a creature has eaten it is achievable with a hole punch. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? also has text simple enough for kids as young as Kindergarten to innovate on.

* Celebrate with a party!  Why not throw an Eric Carle themed party? A class could bring foods from The Very Hungry Caterpillar and sort them into healthy and not so healthy treats. A party centrepiece can be made by kids each decorating one cupcake and contributing it to a simple caterpillar shape on a foil-covered board. You can find lots more elaborate party food on this Pinterest board.

* Create your own puppet show! Base it on an Eric Carle book. Below is a delightful puppet show animation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar created by two children that your kids can watch for inspiration.

* Discover more great ideas via these Pinterest boards: Eric Carle Resources, Eric Carle Activities and Eric Carle. For younger kids, Nurture Store has some lovely ideas for The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

Find other Celebrations here at The Book Chook by clicking Celebrating in the right sidebar.

Image credit: Reusable Art

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