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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Monday, August 1, 2011

Tall Tales- Iggy Peck, Architect

Our next book in the summer art program was Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts. Iggy Peck is a very creative and independent little boy who has a passion for building things with whatever materials he can find: food, dirty diapers (that got a lot of giggles from the children!), dirt, etc. However, when he gets to the second grade, his teacher tells him that he cannot build anymore! The class goes on a field trip and Iggy's building skills save the day!

The projects that we worked on this week, all had to do with architecture.

The 2-5 year olds made paper bag houses. They started out with lunch sized paper bags and filled them with newspaper. The top was folded over and stapled. They covered the top with a folded piece of paper to make it look like a roof. The bag was then glued onto a recycled piece of cardboard, to create a base. From here, the children had a wonderful time cutting, gluing, adding texture (I brought in some texture plates and let them add texture to construction paper) and going crazy creating their houses. We had beach houses, mansions, crooked houses, etc.

The 6 and 7 year olds traveled to Egypt and made sugar cube pyramids. They heard the word sugar cube and got very excited! They started out by gluing a 6 x 6 grid of cubes onto a paper plate. Then added a 5 x 5 grid on top of that, then 4 x 4, continuing to decrease until they got to a single cube at the very top. I found that tacky glue worked better on this than regular school glue. It was a lot sturdier and held the cubes in place better.

When they were finished gluing the cubes, one of our high school volunteers took the children outside and we use spray stain (I will never go back to brush on stain again!!!) and they sprayed them light brown, making them look like they were built in the desert. Then they got to add fun details: palm trees, camels, people, etc. using any left over craft materials that we had from the previous weeks.

The 8 year olds did a lesson that I found on the  Deep Space Sparkle blog. I bought her "Architecture Made Easy" lesson guide for $5. It's a downloadable PDF file, so you just save it right to your computer and then open it any time you need a lesson. Affordable and easy! Architecture Made Easy- Deep Space Sparkle.The lesson that the children did was the castles. I started out by having a few rectangle templates ready for them to trace onto their drawing paper (usually, I don't go in for templates for my older students, but since this was a 1 time, hour class, I went ahead and did it to allow the children more time to finish the castles). Once they had the rectangles traced for the front of the castle, the turrets, etc, then they began adding details: bricks, windows, drawbridge, flags and banners, etc. They traced the entire drawing with a permanent black marker and then used crayons and colored pencils to color them in.

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