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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002
Hours
  • Mon. – Fri. 10am – 4pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12pm – 5pm

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Resources for Visiting Groups

Your group's visit to The Carle can be further enriched by completing our pre-visit and post-visit activities. These discussions and hands-on projects are designed to help students think critically and develop stronger connections to their visit. Return to Group Tours to learn more about our programs and to book your group.

Pre-Visit Activities

Reading a Picture (PDF)

Students are asked to look closely at a picture book and discuss what they see. Based on the Visual Thinking Strategies, this activity is designed to encourage critical thinking and prepare students for the careful looking that they will be asked to do in The Galleries.

How Picture Books are Made (PDF)

Students discuss the process of creating a picture book and are asked to order possible steps from "the author has an idea" to "the book is read by the public." This activity encourages critical thinking and promotes a deeper understanding of how a picture book is made.

Landscape or Portrait (PDF)

Students look closely at picture books and discuss their observations. They are then introduced to the "portrait" and "landscape" formats of picture books, and asked to consider why one format might be chosen over another. Based on The Carle's Whole Book Approach, this activity encourages critical thinking and connects visual and verbal literacy.

Exploring Found Materials (PDF)

Students learn new art-making vocabulary and use careful observation of found objects as inspiration for their own work. The collection of activities presented are designed to encourage creativity and visual language skills, as well as helping students see everyday objects in new ways.

Journaling (PDF)

After using the post-visit activity "Making a Simple Book" to create their own journals, students discuss the ways in which journaling can be used to record and explore ideas. They are then invited to record their own thoughts, ideas, reflections, and images in their journal. This activity helps students to make a personal connection to the artistic process and to see themselves as artists.

Post-Visit Activities

Everything is Art (PDF)

Students learn new art-making vocabulary and use found objects to create assemblages. The collection of activities presented are designed to encourage the creative use of found objects as materials and encourage creativity and visual language skills.

Eyes on Art (PDF)

Students are invited to create illustrations to accompany text and then create text to accompany illustrations. They will also explore wordless picture books. This is designed to extend their practice of "reading a picture" that they learned during their museum visit and encourage visual and verbal literacy.

Making a Simple Book (PDF)

Students think about the importance of sequencing events in a book and create, revise, and produce a final copy of their own "How To" book. This expands upon their visit to the Museum by providing a deeper understanding of how picture books are made.

Working with Shape (PDF)

After using the post-visit activity "Making a Simple Book" to make their own sketchbook, students are asked to carefully observe the shapes around them and record them in their sketchbook. They then cut out their "toolbox" of shapes and create a new composition. This activity encourages students' observational skills and helps them understand the presence of shape in the arrangement of the pictorial space.

Thinking with Shape (PDF)

Using Eric Carle's My Very First Book of Shapes as inspiration, students explore the possibilites of creating with basic shapes. This activity helps students view things as composites of various organic and geometric shapes, fostering observational skills and creativity as a result.

Preschool - Little Cloud Collages (PDF)

After reading Eric Carle's Little Cloud, students are asked to talk about what they see in the sky and engage in "forming" cloud shapes by finger painting with white paint on a variety of "sky" colors. They then tear or cut out their dried clouds and rearrange them on a new sheet of paper. This activity helps young learners observe the presence of shape in our world and develops and understanding of shape in the arrangement of the pictorial space.

Discovering Natural Materials (PDF)

Students explore the potential of natural objects as art-making materials through creating window hangings, mobiles or sculptures, collages, or rubbings. These hands-on projects are designed to encourage creativity and critical thinking.

Journaling (PDF)

This is a continuation of the pre-visit journaling activity. Students are asked to reflect on their visit to the Museum in their journals and possibly expand their work to include new materials. This activity is designed to help students think critically about what they saw at the Museum and create a more personal connection.

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