Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Leo Lionni Author Study: Focus on Frederick

Author/illustrator studies are one of my favorite things to do with children.  The study really lets us think about the story we are reading, find similarities and differences within a single author's work and just plain have fun.

We recently completed a unit on Leo Lionni.  We focused on Frederick, Inch-by-Inch and Swimmy, and other titles, as well. To gain a deeper understanding of the stories, we did sequencing activities, talked about the characters in each story, and completed Venn Diagrams comparing and contrasting stories.  Inch-by-Inch is all about measurement, so we used inch worms as non-standard measures and created our own Inchworm measuring books.   

The following showcases several art projects we did related to the story, Frederick.

Color Similes
To keep the mice warm during the cold winter, Frederick paints a picture of the warm outdoors and different things which can be found there in the summer and autumn. Based on the idea of painting a picture with words, we discussed different comparisons (similes) that can be made about colors and nature. With these statements in mind, we created our color similes using a single color and different textures. 

Our Own Frederick's
Leo Lionni creates a simple, yet memorable mouse character out of a few pieces of paper.  Using the same technique, Pre-k created their own Frederick’s. We started with a sheet of brown paper.  Using our imagination, we tore the paper into pieces to create Frederick.  The ripping and tearing help us to strengthen our fine motor muscles.

Frederick's Habitat
We used straw, pinecones, corn kernels, paper and glue to create Frederick’s habit. 

Many of these ideas were found here in a Leo Lionni Resource Guide for Teachers.  There are ideas in this downloadable pdf for a range of age groups and many of the ideas and be modified to fit specific needs.  It's a great resource.  

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