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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Art-Centered Programs for Adults

The following professional development workshops are designed to engage educators, parents, and caregivers through art and art making and to foster creative and critical thinking. To learn more about our educational approach at The Carle, see Our Approach. For more program options, see our Book-Centered Programs.

After reading the information below regarding program options and fees, please complete our online Group Program Reservation Form with your selections. Art-Centered Programs are designed for between 10 and 20 participants.


An Introduction to Visual Thinking Strategies (4 hours)

Learn about Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) which help to guide much of the educational programming at the Museum. Based on the work of cognitive psychologist Abigail Housen and veteran museum educator Philip Yenawine, VTS uses specific strategies to encourage viewers to find meaning and pleasure in works of art. Participants learn about Housen’s theory of aesthetic development, discuss and analyze the strategies, experiment with the methods in small groups, and discuss ways in which these strategies can enhance teaching and reinforce the state standards in Language Arts.

“I will use these strategies in having the children look critically at pictures in books they often ‘look at’ but don’t truly ‘see’.” – former participant


Bookmaking and Beyond (4 hours)

This workshop explores how bookmaking can encourage creative and innovative ways to communicate ideas. Through work with professional and everyday materials, participants are introduced to the origins of bookmaking and fundamental bookmaking vocabulary, techniques, and structural adaptations for a variety of ages.


Bridging Art and Nature (5 hours)

Using some of our favorite picture books and our beautiful surroundings, we’ll explore a variety of open-ended art projects that link the art and design of the picture book with an exploration of the natural world. Designed to enhance your science curriculum or provide ways to share outdoor time with your children, the program includes time spent outside, so please dress accordingly.  (12 participants maximum when hosted at The Carle)


Eric Carle Tissue Paper Workshop (4 hours)

Learn all about Carle's paper-painting techniques, including how they can be adapted for home or the classroom. Participants each create unique collage papers of their own.

"I learned a lot of practical suggestions to bring back to the classroom. The instructor was very informative and enthusiastic! I enjoyed learning from her.” – former participant


Handmade Cards and Books (4 hours)

Learn how to create handmade cards and unique books to give to friends and family. We’ll cover our favorite bookmaking techniques for teachers, librarians and parents to adapt to your classroom, library or home. You’ll go home with a collection of small handmade books and the techniques to create them again and again.


Picturing Stories (2-4 hours)

Why do some images – whether from an illustrated book, a newspaper ad, or a famous painting – evoke such strong emotional responses? This hands-on workshop demonstrates the intriguing principles of shape, color, and design developed by the Caldecott Honor artist Molly Bang. Participants will apply these principles to picture books then create a cut paper collage to explore their new-found knowledge.

This workshop will help me discuss pictures when I read with kids - actually, it will help me let the students discuss the pictures! I’m going to have my students do the same hands-on project we did in the workshop.” – former participant


Printmaking in the Classroom (4 hours)

Explore the tools and techniques for printmaking and their connections to book production. In addition to hands-on work, we will discuss the history of printmaking and practical ideas for using printmaking in the classroom or home to connect verbal and visual literacy.


Space to Create (4 hours)

Support children’s development and creativity through the creation of a mini-studio in your home or classroom. This workshop explores the components of a vibrant art space, offers tips and resources for creating one, and explores the underlying principles and philosophies that guide the Museum’s Art Studio program. Since no trip to the Art Studio would be complete without time to make art, we will also experiment with materials from our list of favorites.

“After this workshop I have a new (and improved) plan for the studio space in my Kindergarten classroom.” – former participant


Teaching with Found Materials (4 hours)

Explore ways to collect, store, and offer found and free materials to encourage creative expression and support learning in the preschool through early elementary classroom and at home.


Visual Thinking Strategies in the Art Studio (4 hours)

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a method of teaching viewers to find meaning and pleasure in works of art and is a foundation of the educational programming at The Carle. In this workshop, participants will focus on applying the principles of VTS to the exploration of materials and art-making, discussing how our exploration strategies can empower learners and enhance teaching.


Program Fees

Please email for a quote.

Accommodations / Per Diem

Any site beyond a four-hour roundtrip from the Museum will be asked to provide overnight accommodations for the outreach educator at his or her discretion. A per diem rate of $45 may also be applied to cover meals and incidental expenses incurred by the consultant/presenter.

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