Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tall Tales- A House for Hermit Crab

  Our last summer session was based around the book A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. "Time to move," said Hermit Crab one day. Hermit Crab has grown too big for his shell and must find a new home. He finds a newer, bigger shell, but it is very plain! He meets some sea anemones and asks them if they want to decorate the outside of his shell. He eventually covers his new home with a colorful sea star, some coral, a sea snail, a sea urchin, and a lantern fish. However, by the time he gets his home just the way he likes it, he has outgrown the shell again! I absolutely love using Eric Carle's books in my classroom and this one was no different.
The 2-5 year olds made their own hermit crab out of a paper plate and a tracing of their hand (see Kids Count 1234 for this lesson and more). The caregivers helped the little ones trace their hand onto a piece of construction paper and then cut it out. This became the hermit crabs body. They glued it onto a piece of white drawing paper and added details to their crab. Then they glued a paper plate onto the paper, for the crabs shell. To decorate, I pulled out all of the leftover craft materials from the previous weeks (sequins, scrap paper, pipe cleaners, silk flowers, etc) and they glued this all over
their shell. I also had real seashells that they could use in their collage.

The 6-7 year olds also made a hermit crab, but they used a template to trace the body (see Lesson Plan Source for this project) and a Styrofoam bowl for the shell. The students traced the template onto a piece of colored construction paper and then cut it out. They glued the crabs body onto a
piece of white drawing paper and then glued a Styrofoam bowl onto it for the shell. The painted a layer of glue onto the bowl with a paintbrush and then sprinkled sand onto the bowl. They used the same leftover materials that the 2-5 year olds used to decorate their crab shells. I also gave them real shells to add embellishments.

The 8 and up group made their hermit crab out of Crayola Air Dry clay and real shells. They were shown how to use the clay to form the crabs body, claws, antennae and then place it inside of the shell that they had chosen. Some

 children went all out and made sea turtles, snails, etc using the clay and shells. When they had finished making their sea creature, there were blow dryers available to help dry the clay. Each table was given a variety of different tempera paints and they decorated their creature and the paper plate that they were sitting on. We had some wonderful ocean scenes! We also made some of our leftover craft materials available for those who really wanted to get into it.
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