Painted paper collages and storytelling inspired by Eric Carle

by Courtney Floyd on March 14, 2013

in collages, Creative Art, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

Eric Carle is well known for beautiful collage-style illustrations that fill the pages of his books. We explored this style of artwork through painted paper story telling and our children created painted paper collages that I think would make Mr. Carle very proud…

Painted paper collages and storytelling inspired by Eric Carle [Teach Preschool]

It all began with the book The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.  Eric Carle has written this book in a style that makes it easy for the children to read along.  The first pages of the book feature a boy who exclaims, “I am an artist,” and he then proceeds to share all of the pictures he has painted…

Painted paper collages and storytelling inspired by Eric Carle [Teach Preschool]

The artist paints animals in rather unusual colors, which the children found to be quite funny.  He paints a red alligator, a yellow cow, and a polka dot donkey…

Painted paper collages and storytelling inspired by Eric Carle [Teach Preschool]

After reading our story, the children helped retell the story using only artwork…

Painted paper collages and storytelling inspired by Eric Carle [Teach Preschool]

Each piece of paper was painted before we read the book using paint colors and designs that resembled the artist’s animals shown in the book…

Painted paper collages and storytelling inspired by Eric Carle [Teach Preschool]

As each painted paper was shown to the children, they were able to recall the animal that matched the color in our book. If they couldn’t recall the animal, we simply took a second to look it up and find the matching animal…

Painted paper collages and storytelling inspired by Eric Carle [Teach Preschool]

As we looked at the book and our painted pieces of paper, we took notice of how the animals looked like they were made from  pieces of painted paper. So we cut up the paper into smaller pieces for the children to create their own painted paper collages… 

Painted paper collages by Teach Preschool

Several of the children already had an idea of what they wanted their collage to look like.  Others weren’t quite as sure, but still enjoyed the process of cutting up the paintings into different shapes…

Painted paper collages by Teach Preschool

As the children cut up the painted paper, they laid the pieces out on their white paper and when ready, glued the painted pieces in place. Some children then used markers to add details to their pictures…

Painted paper collages by Teach Preschool

Some of the children had their own story to tell about their painted paper collages. For example, this was a lion drinking water…

Painted paper collages by Teach Preschool

And this collage was a self-portrait…

Painted paper collages by Teach Preschool

And this collage was the ocean…

Painted picture collages and Story Telling by Teach Preschool

Some of the collages were just that…collages.  They didn’t represent an animal or necessarily tell a story. For some children, the experience was more about the process of cutting and gluing…

Painted paper collages and storytelling inspired by Eric Carle [Teach Preschool]

But every collage was beautiful. Simply beautiful…

Painted paper collages by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on:

A wonderful collection of Eric Carle books and activities by Teach Preschool

Art inspired by music by Sun Hats & Wellie Boots

Art activity: zoo animal puzzles by Hands On: As We Grow

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Promoting excellence in early childhood education at home and in the preschool classroom!

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1 Faigie March 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I love this kind of project. I do find however, that these types of activities where they make the material they are going to cut out, its much more fun to do it with older 4′s and 5′s, as their stuff is so much more thought out and deliberate.

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Absolutely true – however, it depends on the purpose or intended goal of the teacher. If the goal is to “create an animal or object that is recognizable” then perhaps it is best for older preschoolers. If the focus is on cutting or gluing or to simply explore the process of using painted paper as part of any process the children enjoy then it is fair to say that the process can be explored by threes and fours as well.

3 Faigie March 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Yes that is true. But, I’ll tell you the truth, I taught 3′s, 4′s and 5′s and I always enjoyed doing art the best with the older kids. (even though the little kids are cuter)When my oldest was at her 3 yr old orientation she had an amazing teacher who really understood kids. One of the kids who was not yet 3 sat down at a table with glue and some collage pieces. She pasted one piece onto the paper. The teacher came by (it was actually an untrained assistant, a real natural) sat down, pick up the paper, turned it upside down and said “look, it sticks” She showed a real understanding of where kids that age are holding. So while kids of all ages can still explore these materials, I still find the older kids art more fun.

4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Haha – no doubt – as the children get older there is so much more they understand and can do which does make it fun for grown-ups too!

5 Gina March 22, 2013 at 1:14 am

Where did you get those little glue bottles from?

6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm

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