2nd Graders and their Hermit Crab Creations

Eric Carle is amazing. His illustrations are so unique and distinct; you can recognize his work from a mile away. I love learning more about Eric Carle and his techniques. Did you know that he paints on tissue paper and then makes his paintings from his painted tissue?  Wow!

Some of my favorite books are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dragons, A House for a Hermit Crab, Do You Want to Be My Friend? , Pancakes, and 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo. Eric Carle loves to teach children from his books. Counting, naming animals, growing into something beautiful, being kind, and even how to cook pancakes. He also loves to help people appreciate other great children’s book illustrators. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is on my bucket list, but for now, I can just look through my favorite book, Artist to Artist that features 23 major illustrators as they talk to children about their art. (More on this book on a future post)

Eighteen years ago, while I was teaching First Grade, I helped my students create a replica of the artwork in A House for a Hermit Crab. This is still one of my favorite projects to do today. You can try it too. It’s a lot like the butterfly project from a few days ago.

First you will need the book A House for Hermit Crab to look at all the wonderful sea creatures that join hermit crab throughout his ocean voyage. Fold your large art paper into 8 different squares. Using watercolors, paint each square a different color. You can use household items to made textures in your paint as it dries, like a comb dragged across the paint, or an eraser dipped in another color. When your paint dries, you can draw the sea creatures with a light pencil line on the painted paper and then cut them out. Glue all your creatures onto a large white paper. Don’t forget to add little details, rocks, stripes, and dots from your scraps. You can add a few little blue stripes with watercolors for the background. We went the extra mile and used scraps of tissue paper for the bottom of the ocean.

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