Students will learn how colors can show emotions.
For each student:
- 8 1/2" x 11" white copy
- 9" x 12" colored
- Clear contact paper cut
to 9" x 12" size
- Colored tissue paper (a
variety of colors,
- Black or colored
- Glad Monster Sad Monster--A Book About Feelings, by Ed Emberley & Anne
Miranda; ISBN 0-316-57395-7
- Go Away, Big Green Monster!, by Ed Emberley;
- My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss; ISBN 0-679-87597-2
- The Art of Eric Carle, by Eric Carle; ISBN 0-399-24002-0
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle; ISBN 0-590-03029-9
- The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle; ISBN 0-590-42566-8
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Eric Carle;
- 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo, by Eric Carle; ISBN 0399230130
- The Very Lonely Firefly, by Eric Carle; ISBN 0399234276
- The Very Quiet Cricket, by Eric Carle; ISBN 0399226842
- The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle; ISBN 0-590-31227-8
- I Can Draw People, by Ray Gibson; ISBN 0-439-31640-5
- I Can Draw Animals, by Ray Gibson; ISBN 0-590-63173-X
- Church, E. B. (2004). Playing With Paper. Parent & Child, 11(4),
If you would like to have your students write to Eric Carle, his
address is: P.O. Box 485, Northampton, MA 01060.
Background for Teachers
Eric Carle is a famous
children’s author/illustrator. He was born in
Syracuse, New York, in 1929. When he was six years old, he moved to
Germany, attended and graduated from art school there. In 1952, he
moved back to New York and worked as a graphic designer for The
New York Times. He also worked as the art director of an advertising agency
for many years. One day, author Bill Martin Jr., asked Eric Carle to
illustrate a story he had written. The story was Brown Bear,
Brown Bear, What Do You See? This was the beginning of Eric Carle’s
new career. He has written and illustrated many books, including 1,
2, 3 to the Zoo, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Lonely Firefly,
Very Quiet Cricket. He uses collage illustrations that are a unique form
of paper art. The Eric Carle: Picture Writer video demonstrates this
technique. He writes his books for children with a theme in mind. On the video,
“With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home
and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security,
toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a
Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates—will
they be friendly? I believe the passage from home to school is the second
biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed,
cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown.
unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear,
replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally
and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating
In order for students to understand the idea that colors show emotion,
compare and contrast colors with mood and emotion (e.g., red-anger,
yellow-glad, blue-sad, pink-loving, orange-worry, purple-silly, greenscared,
brown-somber, black-mad, etc.).
Intended Learning Outcomes
3. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.
Invitation to Learn
Show and discuss the art print Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh or
other print you may have available. Ask students to think about the
colors in the picture and tell how the picture makes them feel. Tape
record the responses. The purpose is to assess student knowledge and
ability to see an art print and interpret it in terms of their feelings.
Note: If you have questions about the legality of tape recording
your students, consult your principal about FERPA guidelines.
- Read Glad Monster Sad
Monster--A Book About Feelings.
Discuss the colors and emotions in the book. Introduce the idea
of using color to depict emotion.
- Show and post several examples of Eric
Carle's art using several
of his books (see Background Information). Discuss Eric Carle's
use of color to depict mood or emotion.
- Have students think of an animal,
object, or scene they would like
to draw. Demonstrate how to draw a simple animal, object, or
scene using most of the space on the paper (see Drawing
- Peel off the backing of the contact paper.
Lay the contact paper,
sticky side up, on top of a desk. Tape the corners
to the top of the desk.
- Slide the drawing under the contact paper. Use
marker and model how to trace the outline of the drawing on the
sticky side of the contact paper. Tear small pieces of tissue paper
and place onto the sticky side of the contact paper, filling in the
spaces of the drawing. Refer to the Tissue Art Instruction
Sheet as you model and demonstrate.
- After demonstrating the process,
give each student a piece of
8 1/2" x 11" white paper to draw an animal, object, or scene
They may choose to use one that Eric Carle used in his art. As
they finish their drawings, position the contact paper as previously
Hint: Depending on how many students you have, it is highly
suggested that you prepare the contact paper during a recess
or lunch break.
- Have students tear pieces of colored tissue paper and place
on the contact paper.
- When this is complete, students
place a second piece of plain
white or colored 9" x 12" paper
on the sticky side of the contact
paper, covering the tissue paper.
Turn over the completed project
and rub out any air bubbles.
Display completed project!
- Have students share their artwork,
describing how colors show
moods or emotions. Tape record
- Students write in a journal about their
- Show a different piece of artwork. Tape record the students
discussing what they have learned about color, mood, and
emotion in art. Allow them to compare and contrast the
- Take a field trip to an art museum to
find examples of how color
affects the mood in artwork.
- Invite a guest artist to show and tell about
their artwork. Have
them discuss how they use color to depict mood or emotion.
- Adapt this lesson
using different artists. Be sure to research the
artists and their artwork, include interesting information about the
artists and what mediums they used.
- Allow students to take their artwork
home and explain to family
members why certain colors were used and how mood plays a
part in color choice.
- Encourage the students to visit an art museum with
- Ask students to report on a favorite piece of artwork they
- Tape record the student’s responses to a piece
of artwork before
and/or after the lesson. Have students listen to their own
recordings, comparing the similarities and contrasting the
differences of their ability to interpret a piece of artwork.
- Ask students
to self assess their artwork by sharing the colors
they chose to depict the mood or emotion.
Schiller, M. (1995). The Importance of Conversations about Art with Young
Arts Research, 21, 31-40. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 413252)
research study uses the five developmental stages of Parson’s
Theory in understanding art to help children look at, discuss, and create
artwork. The five stages are: 1-favoritism, 2-beauty and realism, 3-
expressiveness, 4-style and form, 5-automony. The study shows evidence
that young children can enjoy and engage in meaningful discussions