Usher in March with the colorful art of Lois Ehlert as we hear the story of how she became a children's book illustrator - then use pictures and scraps to make a collage of our own lives. Feel free to bring in photographs and/or magazine clippings of things that are important in your life to use in your creation.
As children enter, play music (used CD: “Late Last Night” from Joe Scruggs) – stopped for story, then resumed for craft time – nice to have background music while kids are doing crafts and it introduces them to artists they may not have heard before.
Display: Books by Lois Ehlert
Talk about: “autobiography” = life story…this book just shows a bit of Lois Ehlert’s story but gives you a sense of how she came to be an illustrator and where she’s gotten some of her ideas.
Read: The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life (point out all her books – sure loves color (and pattern & shape!) As her books were discussed in the text, shared some pages from each -- having kids figure out which narrator she chose for Top Cat, see how she cut away shapes in Color Farm, used found objects in Snowballs and notice how her “dummies” (book mock-ups not stupid people!) became real pictures.
Craft tables – make our own “artistic autobiographies” – (asked them to think of what they loved now, things they liked to do, cared about, and what they might want to become when they grew up then cut pictures & text out of old magazines, use things they have brought, use our fancy pinking sheers and scrap papers and glue on either construction paper (make a book if they wish) or large sheets from bulletin board paper (which they can mount on their doors). (Other supplies: gluesticks, scissors, crayons & markers) Suggestion to kids & parents, when they take these off their fridge or wall, save them and look at them again some years from now (I just found one I did as a teen – fascinating to time-travel back multiple decades!