Books and Crafts

This book is an excellent choice for snow weather.  The boys made a wonderful snowman one week, so we dug this book out from the shelf to give it a read.  Each week we have a feature book that we read.  Then we do some type of follow up activity.  I seem to never have the time to post them onto here.  Anyway, for this book my focus was on sequencing.  

Building snowmen take some very easy steps to remember, so it is a perfect for sequencing.  Here is what I did.  I drew out some simple pictures of the steps of a snowman being built.  I cut them out into individual pictures.  Then I gave each of the boys a strip of construction paper with the numbers one to six printed on the bottom.  I mixed the steps up into piles and gave each to the boys.  They had to place the pictures in sequence and glue them down into the correct spots.  

As part of our study on fish this week, we read the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni.  This classic tale is one of those that once you read it, the kids beg for it again and again.  The illustrations in the book were created with layered printing.  For our follow up craft, we made fish prints with a Blue Gill.  
First we painted on the fish with a combination of pretty colors.  
Then we pressed the paper onto the painted fish.  We tried to be careful to not move it around.  We then peeled back the paper to reveal our prints.  

Our last step was suggested by a dear friend of mine.  We added bubbles to the water, by stamping with a marker top in white paint.  It was an excellent finish to the artwork.  

Here is the final product.  

We read The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons.  This book was an excellent compliment to our apple study.  Its focus is on one apple tree through the seasons.  After we read the book and discussed how apple trees change seasonally, we made our own apple trees through the seasons.  

First I folded the construction paper in four and drew pencil outlines of a tree shape.  Then the boys used glue to trace over the lines and fill in the trunk of the trees.  They covered each tree with sand from their sandbox.  This was a big hit and gave a great textural aspect to the trees.  After they were dry, I labeled each box with the names of the seasons.  Then the boys used tissue paper, paint, and foam pieces to represent each season of an apple tree.  

As part of our leaf study we read the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.   This book uses leaves in a cleaver way to make various animals, insects, scenery, and of course a leaf man.   In the book she describes how she photocopied leaves that she found to make the illustration.  I thought this was such a great idea.  We copied our leaves to make a field guide in science, and we had plenty left over to try our hand at making our own leaf pictures.

First I carefully cut out a set of leaves for each of the boys.  They are just learning how to use scissors, and they cut a few of them into pieces to use for their picture.  Then they laid out each collection of leaves to make different pictures.  Some they copied from the book and some were original.  Once they were happy with the design we glued them to the construction paper.  I was so please with the personality that came out of the results.  In preschool art the focus is more on the process than on the product, however in this case I think the product turned out just wonderful.