I was trying to think of a way to teach an Eric Carle Lesson to 1st Grade without taking 2 classes to make it. Printmaking seemed like a fun way to create this lesson and they would still be making all kinds of textures and patterns with acrylic paint. This lesson can be done in one class session.
I usually have the students create textured paper with tempra or acrylic paint and different texture tools. Then they let that dry and we make the animals from the dried painted paper - like below. This method requires 2 class times, but it is also a great lesson.
You will need:
Start by reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle
I'm going to ask my students to describe how Eric Carle made his Caterpillar, and how they are going to make theirs. We will discuss how we are using a different method to make ours, printmaking.
I'll demonstrate the process and we'll brainstorm all the different kinds of patterns and textures we can make. Words print backwards and Eric Carle doesn't have words in his so I'm going to ask them to use only patterns, no words.
They can use templates to cut two ovals out of the foam plates. One large for the head and one smaller for the body.
They will start by making the body using the smaller oval. They paint the oval with the foam brush.
Once it is painted they use a Q tip to create a pattern on the foam.
Next they put the foam face down and press evenly on the back. Making sure all the edges and the middle are touching the paper.
Have them start the first section of the body a little bit low on the paper so they can curve it upward and back down again as they print.
They just keep repeating this process again and again until they have their finished body for the caterpillar. I overlapped mine a little bit. If you just use green you don't have to wash the foam between prints. If you want to use other colors you'll have to wash the foam between prints.
When they have their body done they can print the larger oval as the face.
Once they are done printing the caterpillar hopefully the paint will be dry enough to add some details with colored pencils. If not you can always use a blow dryer to dry the paint quickly.
They can add feet, antennas and fuzz with the colored pencils.
I think my students are going to love this printmaking project and make some fantastically creative caterpillars!