Horses and Elephants

The Book

My second graders learned about Eric Carle.  We looked at the book "The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse." The book was a easy read, but does a great job of using warm and cool colors in contrasting fashion with each page. Most of the pictures have a warm colored animal and a cool colored ground or vis-versa. For the lesson we looked at two pages, the cover page with the horse and another page with an orange elephant.
The students started out by coloring a 12x18 piece of paper with either warm colors or cool colors. Warm colors if they were doing the elephant, and cool colors if they were making the horse. The next class the students that used cool colored crayons used cool colored paint. The students painted over the entire paper and then used various scraping tools to at scratch and texture marks. The students love Eric Carle because of this scratching technique. The next class, I made multiple tracers for each animal... TRACERS (I know what your thinking, but the students drew things too small when I had them draw animals with basic shapes). The tracers were put on the back of the paper and then traced and cut out. The students were really forced to think for this step because they had to lay out all the pieces before they traced to make sure they could fit all the parts/ pieces. On a large white sheet a of paper the students made the ground line and scratched / scraped the paint just like they did with the animal. On the final class the students put together their animals using a picture from the book to reference (GREAT PROBLEM SOLVING). After they put the animal together, the students glued and added details with oil pastels. The students eyes were great when they put that last piece together and it looked like they animal on the picture... a sense of accomplishment! Thanks Eric Carle for the idea!


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