Tuesday, March 29, 2011

April = Eric Carle!

Once Spring has Sprung, it is time for the Eric Carle unit!  Susan Johnson added this unit to our lineup a few years ago and I love it!  I keep wanting to add more to it so I have to calm down-May is for Fairytales so I can't spill over!  Of course we begin by reading this book.

We re-visit an old favorite.

We learn about the author and how he creates his amazing artwork. 
He gets a little messy and we like that! 

We learn about spiders and how they compare/contrast with insects.

We also review and flesh out a plant's life cycle through this book.

We learn about a ladybug's life cycle and other important facts about beetles. 

I've added Eric Carle activities over the past few years. 
 I find quite a few things on sale at Marshall's, TJ Maxx and Ross.

These items are all added to our Eric Carle tub full of reading activities that children may use
once they have completed their work at their literacy center.

Our Eric Carle tub is placed at my daily literacy center that I call Reading Street.
We make an Eric Carle book and this will be the first page in the book. 
The kids love to illustrate how messy he can get while he is creating his artwork! 
I used a Sissix die cut last year but this year I will put my Cricut to use to make his body so that I can make it slightly bigger.
We practice map skills, use a compass rose and illustrate where Eric Carle
lives and where we live on our U.S. map.
The children will write a page of facts about Eric Carle.

We'll practice time telling with the Hungry Caterpillar.

We learn about the Butterfly Life Cycle and will write facts about butterflies.
I liked this wheel but I think I will use the paper plate art that April Larremore has at Chalk Talk to illustrate the life cycle this year.

I love making this page!  I usually do this in small groups to attempt
to lessen the confusion and to help them lay out the design.
A math addition page using aphids!

We begin the study with butterflies.
We learn that every life has a cycle-just like a circle.

Everyone illustrated the life cycle and labelled it in their Science Journals.

Next we use a crayon resist to learn about symmetry in a butterfly's design and about their habitat.
It is a directed drawing that we work on whole group.

Everyone has their own interpretation - I love seeing what they come up with!

Look at that face, don't you love it?!

We lightly add blue watercolor to fill in the white space and then watch
what happens when we paint over the crayon.

The watercolor beads up and "resists"!

I'll post a photo of their artwork on display in the hallway-it turned out really pretty!  This was a great diversion for today-we are in the middle of state testing school wide and K and First are trying to be very quiet for the big kids.  We are having to alternate days for PE so we are trying to get creative to keep from going stir crazy.  We had a nice, long fun center time this afternoon to let off steam! 
I pulled this activity out from the beginning of the year for a reading activity.

The world of Eric Carle is fascinating-they really get into it!

A felt storyboard for The Very Hungry Caterpillar for story retell. They are VERY careful with the pieces!

He used the puppet for story retell-it was awesome to listen to!

A teacher's copy of Scholastic from last year that I had laminated to save for this purpose!

Colorforms for Brown Bear, Brown Bear story retell-three years and not one piece lost!  I drill, drill, drill the importance of being careful and getting ALL of the pieces back where they far, so good.

A tub of butterfly pieces for all of its stages -this plastic is very smelly but they still enjoy it!

OK, he just REALLY wanted me to take his picture with his green work folder.  How cute is that?!

I haven't decided how I will use these but I am thinking of some type of game...  
Any ideas?  Leave me a comment with your idea-there are app. 36 pieces and they come in a variety of insects.  Let me know what you think!

This is a lift the flap book that we will make once we read The Tiny Seed. 
The kids will write a fact on the inside of each flap.

I will cut these flowers from our school die cut and I have a page of ladybugs that I made last year.  I just copied and pasted the book cover from google images. The kids will measure the height of their flower (I will have a varied length of stems) with a non standard unit of measure-the ladybug square!

Much more to come!  I love this unit!  Tell me what you like to do with
Eric Carle books and help me think of something cool to do with the accent pieces.  
I look forward to hearing from you!