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



  • Tuesday- Friday10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

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Professional Development

The Carle offers a wide range of professional development workshops, from workshops designed to foster creative and critical thinking, to programs that support critical engagement with the picture book as an art form. Our goal is to help educators, regardless of their familiarity with art, encourage their students to further develop visual and verbal literacy.

Programs can be arranged at the Museum or at your site. Each workshop is three hours long, and designed for up to 15 participants onsite (20 participants off-site). If you have a larger group we’re happy to discuss different options that may be available. Participants attending onsite programs receive a 10% discount (25% for Members) in the Museum Shop the day of the program.

After reading the information below, please complete the online PD Inquiry Form  with your selection(s), so we may provide you with a quote and assist you with your booking. 

See a list of upcoming Professional Development Workshops, Programs and Events offered at The Carle.


Bridging Art and Nature
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. 

Designing Books with Children 
In this hands-on workshop, we will explore the book form as a platform for storytelling with children. Together we will construct books that allow you to teach bookmaking techniques to your students while also giving the children agency over their own designs and story arcs. We’ll experiment with a range of materials that are inexpensive and easy to find. Participants will walk away with examples of several different book forms to take back to their classroom, community center, or home.

Eric Carle Tissue Paper Workshop 
Curious about Eric Carle’s art-making techniques? Join us in an interactive workshop where we will explore Carle’s unique paper-painting and collage-making techniques. Create your own painted papers and collages and explore an assortment of materials, all while gaining ideas to inspire art making for a variety of ages. This workshop is open to educators, caregivers, or anyone who has an enthusiasm for Eric Carle’s work.

Exploring Prints with Children
Explore printmaking processes and how to adapt it to your art-making space. In this workshop, you’ll walk away with a range of safe and accessible techniques that can be explored with students pre-K - 12. We’ll deconstruct the printmaking process, allowing students to explore the art form in an open-ended way. Enjoy the excitement as prints are revealed and layers of color come together to form a unique print. Techniques that can be covered include monotype, stenciling, and stamping. 

Introduction to Visual Thinking Strategies (available as virtual workshop)
Based on the work of cognitive psychologist Abigail Housen and veteran museum educator Philip Yenawine, Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) uses specific strategies to encourage viewers to find meaning and pleasure in works of art. Learn about Housen’s theory of aesthetic development, experiment with and analyze the strategies, and discuss ways in which these strategies can enhance teaching and reinforce the state standards in Language Arts. Participants will enjoy practicing VTS in the museum’s galleries, as well as applying VTS to interactive storytimes.  

More Than a Display: Installations that Inspire Collaborative Learning 
Inspired by the installations and displays of the Art Studio, this workshop will explore ways to incorporate collaborative and interactive displays into your learning environment. We will reflect on how displays can capture student learning, extend on that learning, and encourage collaboration. This workshop is designed to explore frameworks connected to project-based learning, as well as give educators hands-on time with materials. The workshop will also address time-management, resourcing, and cost issues as related to the creation of effective and exciting displays. 

Open Book, Open Play: Engaging Toddlers and Preschoolers in Storytime(available as virtual workshop)
Do you ever struggle to keep children focused or attentive during storytime? Explore fun ways to engage toddlers and preschoolers in interactive storytimes and open-ended play. This workshop will provide educators with tools for inviting very young children to actively participate in book sharing as well as materials-based imaginative play. This innovative approach to looking, listening, learning, and communicating helps children develop verbal and visual literacy, as well as fine and gross motor skills.

Transforming Recycled Materials
Are you ever concerned about the amount of waste that art-making can produce? We’re always thinking about it! From the packaging that art materials come in to the scraps left over, we continuously seek ways to reuse materials to create exciting, sustainable art projects. Join us to share these ideas and explore ways to use recycled materials as a creative media. Have fun testing out materials through collage, sculptural construction, stamping, and more. Be inspired to see packaging, scraps, and caps in a new light and design your own open-ended projects.

The Whole Book Approach (available as virtual workshop)
Discover the difference between reading with children and reading to children! The Whole Book Approach, developed by former Carle educator Megan Lambert, gives educators, parents, and caregivers the tools to evaluate the picture book as an art form and encourages the critical engagement of children during picture book reading experiences. Participants will spend hands-on time looking at selected picture books.

Want to continue developing storytime strategies beyond this workshop? Purchase a copy of Lambert’s Reading Picture Books with Children, available at a discounted rate when you sign up for the workshop!

Wordless Picture Books (available as virtual workshop)
How does one "read" a wordless picture book? How can wordless picture books help emergent readers who must learn to negotiate the printed word? How can pictures tell a story? In this workshop, we'll explore how wordless picture books invite careful observation, critical thinking, and opportunities to make meaning out of what one sees and hears from others.

Once a PD Inquiry Form has been submitted, our Program Coordinator will respond to your inquiry with a program fee quote. Fees are calculated based on number of programs booked and travel distance from museum.  

*Any site beyond a four-hour roundtrip from the Museum may be asked to provide overnight accommodations for the outreach educator at their discretion. A per diem rate of $45 may also be applied to cover meals and incidental expenses incurred by the outreach educator. Additional travel costs including but not limited to airfare, train, car service, and tolls are the responsibility of the hosting site.
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