“He’s the writer. He writes the words. He makes the pictures. Eric Carle is a human. I’m like Eric Carle!”

While children were embarking on an author study of Eric Carle in their classroom, there was so much enthusiasm around his stories and illustrations that consistently came up in conversation. It seemed like a natural progression would be to find connections to his work that we could explore in the Studio!

Each group began by reading By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman. In this story, Mouse is trying to write a story, but Frog keeps interrupting and changing the plot of the story. By the end, they learn that they can write a wonderful story together, but only if they take the time to slow down and listen to each other.

Phoenix: Mouse and the frog don’t listen to each other.

Naomi: Mouse was mad because frog made a big mess with his story.

Sebrina: The mouse was sad that frog was talking over his story.

Cameron: Frog made it a mess and it was a bad story. He didn’t let mouse talk!

Eli: The frog made the mouse worried because he didn’t listen.

Isaac: That story blew my mind because they drew on the walls!

Next, children were introduced to the “imagination rock”, which meant that when it was your turn to contribute to the story, you were holding the rock and sharing your ideas. The rock had the word “imagine” etched in it, and friends loved feeling it’s “powers” when it was their turn to share. Once the collaborative story was complete, we edited it until everyone in the group was happy with it.

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Autumn: The special rock is giving me powers… story powers!

Luca: Close your eyes and you can feel the story powers.

Amal: If you put it on your heart, you use your imagination and you know what you want to make.

Samantha: This rock is really special.

As children learned about Eric Carle, they loved that he writes books and also does the illustrations. After re-reading our story, children used ripped tissue paper and glue to design backgrounds based on their story.

Amen: I heard Eric Carle did the ladybug and the click beetle book.

Dafnee: I read a book, an Eric Carle book, and it had a monkey in it.

Fatima: Eric Carle writes the words and draws the pictures.

Katherine: He made that caterpillar book.

Anders: He’s the writer. He writes the words. He makes the pictures. Eric Carle is a human. I’m like Eric Carle!

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Aurora: He’s the person who draws the words about the caterpillar who ate all the food.

Joelle: He’s an author. He draws pictures. He wrote about the grouchy ladybug.

Luca: When I grow up, I want to be Eric Carle.

Gionni: I’m gonna be like Eric Carle and make the frog a funny color. He’s a yellow frog now!

The following week, we read The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse by Eric Carle as we began thinking about how to represent the characters. Eric Carle used his imagination in this book, and friends thought it was silly that he represented the animals in different colors. Children began drawing and collaging to make their stories come alive. When the work was finished, children signed their names so people would know that they were the authors and the illustrators!

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Isaac: Everyone calls me Eric Carle but I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m drawing a rainbow donkey.

Frances: Eric Carle is a great storyteller.

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Samantha: Eric Carle is friends with Antonio the ant. He’s not a person, he’s an ant.

Cameron: Eric Carle is Antonio’s favorite author and illustrator.

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Below are a few of our collaborative stories and storyboards… enjoy!

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The Little Rock Goes to the Pool Party   by Jabez, Jeylin, Dylan, Frances and David

Once upon a time, there was a rock. He was walking because he had legs. And he has feet and he wears shoes. The rock has clothes on. And he has eyes, a nose, mouth and hair. Then, there’s a lion in a pool. The lion invites the rock to the pool party. They eat chocolate ice cream cake. The lion has his feet in the water. All of the people are coming to the party for the lion and they are so happy because the rock is just like them. The people are also rocks with legs! The airplane comes to pick the rocks up. The airplane takes them to New York for a bigger pool party.

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Giant Monster at the Playground   by Adonai, Trebor, Cora, Nydelyn and Nazeer

One day on the playground, the mouse fell on the ground. “I hope it will stop falling,” said Trebor. “I hope it can slide down the slide,” said Adonai. There was a monster and the mouse showed his claws and said “roar!” Then, Trebor just slide down the slide and bumped the wood chips because he was surprised. The monster just fell on the rock and he got a scratch.

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The Princess, the Prince and the Dragon   by Elliott, Eva, Isabella, Kaleb and Brandon

Once upon a time, there was a tower. A princess and a dragon lived there and the dragon was trying to destroy her tower. He tried to keep the city all to himself. And the princess was sad and the prince came and he made her another castle and saved her. Then, the dragon came back and destroyed the whole world and the whole planet. The dragon broke the princesses new house. The princess goes in her house and then the dragon breathes fire on the princess. And then the dragon and the princess got friends and got along. They were friends again and happily ever after.

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The Rainbow Butterfly and the Nice Dinosaur  by Daniela, Cameron, Leonel, Amal and Issabela

One day, there was a butterfly and he was flying in the forest. He’s eating flowers like rosies. A dinosaur came and ate him. The dinosaur said, “roar!” The bunny comes and the butterfly came and they become friends. “Do not eat it,” said the bunny. And then the dinosaur ate him! The dinosaur ate all the butterflies in the whole city. But, he didn’t kill one butterfly, the rainbow butterfly, because he was so powerful. And he had nice kindness powers and he shot it at the dinosaur and he became nice. Now, he shares.

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“Beautiful Junk is the most beautiful things in the world!”

This week in the Studio, friends began working with recycled materials, also known as Beautiful Junk!  Many people in the CCPCS community have been donating materials to the Studio over the past few weeks and we were very excited to sort, build and create with these open ended objects.  Thanks to everyone that has donated to us… and please continue to drop off materials in the bins in front of the Studio!  Within the next couple weeks, the bins will be clearly labeled so families will know where specific materials go 🙂

What is Beautiful Junk?

Daniel: Instead of throwing it in the trash, you keep it and think it’s beautiful so you turn it into something new.

Jose: Junk means like a junk yard.  Like trash.  Beautiful means like it looks nice.  It’s beautiful trash.

Noah: It’s for you to get stuff to build like a human, or a mouse, or a house.

Mae: Junk is something that’s empty that you can use.  You can make things with it but don’t break it.

Florentina: Beautiful Junk is the most beautiful things in the world.

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Mouhammadou: I like this Beautiful Junk.  It’s not stinky.

Roman: This is stuff for you to do your projects with.

Kofi: Beautiful Junk is things that people didn’t want to use that we can use for materials.  They put them in the box.

Abdoul: It’s recycled.  Then we can use it again.  They’re good.

Rayyan: Junk is like ew.

Once we talked about exactly what Beautiful Junk was, it was time to get to work!  Friends collaged and sculpted with the materials, while others were interested in sorting similar materials together.

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Luke: I found more bottle caps.  I’ll put them with the ones Daniel found.

Garumma: I’m making something.  It’s a tractor that’s driving a tiger.  The tiger needs a blanket.  Cardboard is a paper from paper towels.  It’s hard to cut.  It’s not hard to cut fabric.  I’m going back to my project now.

Marley: These are so soft.  Soft like a soft part.

Jose: If you snore so loud, you can put those (corks) in your ears.

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Adrian: This is for closing things like bread.

Zuri: This is like a collection.

Abdoulaye: One time I used Beautiful Junk to make a skateboard.  I used tops for wheels.  I used an egg carton for the board.

Alberto: If you see things that are the same you can put them together.  It’s like if you need some spare parts for your project, you can find them together.

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Josie: Perfect, I found just what I was looking for.

Maia: That (yarn) looks like rope for a cowboy!

Maceo: I know I used Beautiful Junk to make a plane, and then I broke it and made it into a barn.

Andres: Did the eggs hatch?  Where the eggs?

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“The Helicopters” by Angel

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“The Great Wall of China” by Alberto

Finally, we had a very special guest join us in the Studio today!  My dad came by and spent the morning making sculptures with us!  Friends were so excited to meet him and to learn that he was also an art teacher, just like me 🙂

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“You don’t go to the Art Studio to get a haircut, you go there to make your art!”

Over the last week and a half, friends have been practicing with scissors and different types of adhesives.  We began by talking about materials that were appropriate to cut with scissors, as well as materials that aren’t ok to cut with scissors.  Children were very excited to finally have scissors available in the Studio and practiced how to use them correctly and safely.

Luke: We don’t cut houses because we need them to live in.  Scissors do “open and close” like this.

Daniel: If you cut the table, the legs will break off and you’ll need a new table.

Sylvie: Ms.Cookie cut my hair but we do not cut our own hair or our friends hair.

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Sasha: You don’t cut your hair with scissors.  You go to my mom’s salon for a haircut.

Garumma: When I was a baby, I cut my finger.  I didn’t know how to use scissors.

Zavier: I open them.  Then I close them.  Clip, clap, clip, clap, scissors!

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Zuri:  Cutting is like magic.  If you snip around the paper, it’s like a hula skirt.

Yonathan: You don’t go to the Art Studio to get a haircut, you go there to make your art.

Logan: We should call squeeze scissors squeezers!

Once friends had lots of shapes of paper, they began assembling a collage.  Children worked with wet glue, glue sticks, tape and staplers as they experimented with adhering tissue paper, foil and card stock to construction paper.

Mouhammadou: It’s easy to make a rectangle.  Scissors are good at that.

Justin: I’m gluing it so I can put it all back together.

Vivian: This is going to be a bowtie.

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Ronan: Glue sticks look like lipstick.

Miles: I cut this shape and it looks like a shoe.

Alberto: The foil sounds like metal.  I can squish the metal.

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Jariel: Tissue paper like “achoo, achoo!”

Kofi: The wet glue looks like vanilla frosting.

Andres: Put it there, see it perfect.  Sure, it perfect.

This week, we also introduced the light table!  Children had the opportunity to work at the light table if there was time after they were finished collaging.  Videos to come of some of the work done at this area over the course of the week 🙂

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Finally, aside from a day of rain, it was a very sunny week in the Studio!  Friends continued to discover new prisms and crystals that were casting rainbows all over the classroom.

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“Two secrets! This book is full of secrets!”

As our exploration of photography is coming to an end, we concluded by creating photo albums!  Last week, children cut their photos and began arranging them in the pages of paper bag books.  We had found some different types of handmade books the previous week and decided that paper bag books would be fun because the pockets were like “secret hiding spots.”  Once they were finished cutting, some friends traded their photos with their peers, while others added their own illustrations to their photographs.

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Jude: There’s a secret hiding spot in my book.  Don’t tell anyone… only our art group can see it.

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Jasper: It’s a story of how we took pictures of flashes.  It can tell a story about what are our favorite photos.

Alexia: I’m making a story.  It’s a story that shows friends are nice.  It’s like a memory book.

Chris: I took a picture of me… I’m a famous star!

Elias: I’m making it a book inside of a book.

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Chris: This book is gonna make me so famous.

Vandell: Look Minna… I took a picture of you and your mommy.  You both look so nice.

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Jasper: I’m going to hide this one so that people don’t know there’s a rainbow in here.  I want to make sure no one sees Sarah taking a picture.  It’s going in a secret place.  And I don’t want anyone to see this picture of me with no eyes.  I’ll put it in a spooky, scary spot.

Elias: Two secrets!  This book is full of secrets!

Owen: Almost every one of my photos will go in a compartment.  It’s like a pocket.

Minna: Don’t tell people if you stuff your pictures in pockets.  Then they will know.

Jasper: My mom and dad don’t know about a light table, so where should I put it so they can learn?  Next week can we add junk to our books?  I want my mom to laugh, so I’m going to put this one on the back.

Today, friends added collage elements and “junk” to their books.  Some children chose to frame individual photos, while others created intricate ways to tie their books so they would stay shut.

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Georgi: I look beautiful in this picture.

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Jasper: I have an idea… my plan is to wrap this ribbon around one way and a piece of string the other way and it will close.  I think my plan will work.

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Elias: I’m in a pickle.  How can I stick these?

AJ: My dad’s gonna love it.  He loves everything I make.

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Vandell: Even though I messed up some parts and some parts are ugly, she will like it.  My mom will still like it.

Owen: I’m making my book look like an alien!

“The hot glue dried so it’s cold glue again.”

Tuesday groups are in the final phase of their paper mache masks/hats!  Friends were excited to finish these up, especially because it involved lots of fun collage materials, Beautiful Junk, glitter and… the introduction of a hot glue gun (which requires adult supervision!)  Here are some photos from today’s fun!

Jasper: You need adult supervision with the hot glue.  You plug it in the wall and it gets hot and makes heavy things stick.

Owen: Hot glue is very dangerous, you have to be careful.  The hot glue dried so it’s cold glue again.

Noah: Let’s blow on the hot glue so it gets cold.

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This morning, we found a new (and very exciting) material in the Beautiful Junk containers.  This deco flex tubing transformed throughout the day from water slides for googly eyes, to shiny slimy worms.  Thanks Jenn Lauchlan for sharing these with us… I’ve already placed an order for more of this fun material!

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Chris: Sprinkles are so sprinkly.

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Jasmine: An alien with lots of antennas.

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AJ: Mine has a visor.  It keeps things in outer space from getting in your eyes.

Artwork of the Week!

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Phoenix: This is a party airplane.  It has decorations.  This party is for myself.  I need another one for decorations so it looks like a real party.

Jude: Mine is a party helicopter!

Phoenix: Oooh, Jude… I love that party helicopter.

Jude: It’s a party helicopter for you, Phoenix.  There’s a pool party at my party helicopter.  You like swimming, don’t you?

Phoenix: Yeah! My party airplane has a movie party.  Boys and girls and kids can come to the party.  This square is for the movie theater.

Jude: Wow, that’s cool!

Phoenix: If the whole school came to my party, everyone would be so happy.  Happy like if the school had a big smile on it!

This year, I decided to use my newsletter board for an Artwork of the Week display that will change every Wednesday!  Here is last weeks collaborative collage between Jude and Phoenix.  New art work will be up by the end of the day!

Beautiful Junk!

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Beautiful Junk!

Thank you for the Beautiful Junk that you have shared with us! Friends have already begun working with these found materials in the Pre-K Art Studio and in their classrooms. Over the last week, art groups focused on familiarizing themselves with the materials that are now available to them and sorted the materials into different categories. Materials will now be easier to find and when families have more Beautiful Junk to share, they will know exactly where to put the materials! Thanks again for sharing all of your Beautiful Junk with us!

Beautiful Junk sorting has begun!

Over the last few weeks, many families have donated Beautiful Junk to the bins outside of the Pre-K Art Studio!  Children have been working with the found materials both in the Studio and in their classrooms.  Since materials are constantly moving throughout them, the Beautiful Junk bins have become disorganized.  It seemed that to know what we needed for projects, we first needed to know what types of materials we had available to us.  During Art Groups this week, children have been and will continue to explore found materials such as fabric, cans, bottle tops, stamps and boxes that we now have the opportunity to work with.  Next week, bins will be labeled based on the children’s categories to make materials easier to find.  Here are some highlights from Day 1 of Beautiful Junk sorting!

“It’s junk but it’s still being used by kids.”  -Jasper

“It’s beautiful… other people may not like it because it’s junk.  We can use paper and make designs with it!  Or build!”  -Neche

“How did this break?  I think we can still use it… it’s not trash.”  -Samantha

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Mariah and Wallace comparing bottle tops based on size, shape and color.

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Jasper working on a collage incorporating transparencies, paint chips and plastic ants.  He stated that he was making a celebration cave for the ants!

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While sorting, Neche began filling plastic containers with corks, plastic eggs and bottle tops.  She taped the top shut and then compared the different sounds with Chris.  “It sounds like metal with a little plastic… like music!”

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In one of the Beautiful Junk bins, AJ and Samantha found a stack of envelopes and date stamps.  They began by pretending to work in a library and checked books out to their friends.  After all the books were checked out, they pretended to be mailman and delivered letters to their friends.

Samantha: These are important things for me.  Letters and envelopes.  They have important news.

AJ: We have to stamp all the letters so they get to the right people.

Samantha: I’ll write, you stamp.

AJ: We are mailmen.  Here’s your letter.  We are delivering the mail… stamped and all!  We can wrap them with ribbon to deliver.