I absolutely love spring time! I love teaching all the wonderful topics that come along with spring, I love opening my windows, I love spending time outside..... let's face it. There is a lot to love.
I wanted to talk to you about another thing I love. Eric Carle. Okay. Don't get weird on me. I really love Eric Carle as an author and I feel like my students really enjoy his books too. So at this point in the year kindergarteners are able to do so much! I get so excited when we come back after spring break because I know that some great learning, ideas and sharing will take place.
We start to do a bunch of shared research at this point in the year with our kinders and one of my growing favorites is shared research in reading literature. I love looking at authors and really getting to know them and what makes each and every one of them unique.
So I start the unit as a whole class study with me doing the majority of the modeling. We start by reading my favorite The Very Hungry Caterpillar (plus it's so fitting since we are talking about lifecycles). After our reading I lead them into learning more about the author with this video. I love how it shows the process of his art and it talks about his reasons for using nature as his inspiration.
Once we have done that I create and anchor chart that looks like this
I model for them a few and start to let students share out. I like to scaffold as much as possible.
Towards the last three days I tell my students that I want them to get an idea of what it is like to make art like Eric Carle. We talk about his process and I let me students go at it!
Just kidding. I place them with partners and they get the chance to paint their own paper and add texture to it using various tools that I purchased at the Dollar Store.
Once they are done with that we let it dry for a day. At this point my students were so excited that they went back to their tables and immediately began writing opinion pieces about Eric Carle. Some even created their own version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
These came out so great! Now keep in mind that they had to draw what they were going to cut out first so that they had a good idea of what they wanted it to look like. Afterwards, we created this cute writing to go along with it...
When they were finished writing and creating their picture we came back together and discussed how we could express out opinions about him as an author based on what we know about him. We reviewed the chart and they went back to work. Here is what some of them came up with.
By the end of it they felt so accomplished and they really knew who Eric Carle was and what made him special and unique as an author/illustrator.
This week we are working on group shared research! I'll be back to let you guys know how they is going.