Monday, March 28, 2011

camouflage critters

I feel no shame saying, that like many of you I love this book:

I have used a lot of lessons straight from this book. The kids like the lessons and are willing to work hard on them. A few lessons use materials that are hard to get, hard to work with or not practical but overall I think it's a great book.

So one of my favorite lessons is the camouflage critters. I've done this lesson in the past with sharpies and tooling foil but this year we just used construction paper, tempra paint and oil pastel.

After having the kids divided the paper with white paint (use the smallest paint brush you have) the paint dried fast and I hit each kids paper with the hair dryer for 15 seconds and sent them back to their table to use 3 colors per section to make an interesting background. Some kids used only 3 colors for the entire background and others used all sorts of colors. This part takes about a class and half.

We spent some time practicing the animals in the book and going through the step by step drawing directions. The kids really liked learning to draw the chameleon (although they are not the easiest animal to cut out later and many kids opted for a turtle for their final drawing)

When the background is done we drew our animal on a second sheet of black paper and repeated the painting and coloring process. Some kids understood to match the pattern on their background and others were not that careful.

finally I had the kids cut out their animal and bring it and the background to me where i used cut up pieces of foam glued to the animal to make the animals pop off the page. 3rd grade results were ehhh but 4th and 5th grade results looked awesome.

YET when I sent these back to the classroom their homeroom teacher had to fish most of them out of the trash because once again the kids refused to take their art home saying it would just get thrown away there! Good lord why do I even bother!!???


  1. these look so good! I LOVE that book also

  2. I just pulled that book out of my cabinet to see about trying another lesson. I have had good luck with a lot of the projects too. These pieces look great! Maybe I'll give this a go.

  3. The artwork looks amazing.I can see the beauty of oil pastels.