this integrated mini-unit the students will be exposed to several
Mixing Primary Colors to create a “collage cat
Creative writing of poetry that say something about
their rainbow cat mask.
Learning a simple cat tale to present (retell) to the
class using their mask.
(or revisiting if already learned) the song Red, Yellow,
Blue (See this in the technology section)
to strengthen their awareness of the primary and
Another integration of the arts in the
curriculum would be to create a Kid Pix drawing in primary and
secondary colors. The
song Red, Yellow, Blue can be taught in a lesson by making
the color wheels or other lesson on color exploration.
Plan for Storytelling as an Art Form
Lesson Title: Telling
a Good Cat Tale
Grade Level: Appropriate for 1-3
Lesson Objectives: HOW TO DELIVER A SIMPLE STORY! Used as a homework project,
this lesson requires parental interaction so students may learn a
simple story to retell to their classmates.
The art of storytelling is introduced with a teacher
example in the classroom. In
most cases for first grade the story will be read by the parent
then the student will practice retelling it over and over again
working on the presentation.
Voice and any gestures needed are the emphasis of the
A Xeroxed cat tale for each student to take
home for rehearsal (each will be different if possible.)
Letter of explanation to the parents from the
teacher on the homework project.
Discuss storytelling and how it differs from
reading from a book.
Teacher should deliver a story to the class
they have rehearsed (using a cat mask!)
Show the students how to “map” the story
so they are able to learn it more easily Simple drawings are used
to assist recall.
Have ready for each student a packet with the
information they need to do the homework assignment successfully.
Give students about 10 days to do this
assignment at home. If
given on a Monday to take home, plan to hear the student
presentation the following week on Tuesday or Wednesday.
the students are apt to deliver homework papers on a Friday, it
would be best to have two weekends to work on the rehearsal.
By Wednesday of week one (two days after
sending home the information) have the students get into pairs and
rehearse their stories with their partner.
Do this each day so the students are reminded and aware
that this needs to be practiced at home on a daily basis so they
are ready the following week for their presentation.
Evaluation of Lesson:
Great excitement over the forthcoming CATS
presentation is in the air.
Tales For Children To Retell
Cage Bird And the Bat (Pat’s cats-Fables: http:///www…)
The Cat and the Birds (Pat’s
Cock, The Cat, and The Mouse (gopher://ftp.std.com/00/obi/book/Fairy.Tales.Grimm)
The Cat and The Mice (Pat’s
Fox and The Cat (Pat’s cats-Fables:
Fox and The Cat (Hamilton & Weiss)
Cat and The King (Pat’s cats-Fables: http:///www/mania.com.au/~pshaw/Fables.html)
Cat and The Cock (Pat’s cats-Fables: http:///www/mania.com.au/~pshaw/Fables.html)
The Cat (Pat’s cats-Fables: www)
Parrot and The Cat (Pat’s cats-Fables: www…)
Eagle, The Cat, and The Wild Sow (Pat’s cats-Fables: www…)
and The Cat (Pat’s cats-Fables: www…)
Cat and The Dog (de Caro)
Cat and The Mouse in Partnership (de Caro)
Flying Kitten (de Caro)
Cat and The Crab (de Caro)
and Bra Nansi (de Caro)
the Leopard Can Only Catch Prey on its Left Side (de Caro)
The Cat Falls on Her Feet (de Caro)
Cat Came Back (Schwartz)
Fastest Cat on Earth (Schwartz)
There Was A Cat (Schwartz)
Dogs Chase Cats (Hamilton and Weiss)
How Tigers Got Their Stripes (Hamilton
Cats Wash Their Paws After Eating (Hamilton and Weiss)
In The Swamp (de Caro)
The Cat With The Beckoning Paw (MacDonald,
Tales for Teachers To Retell
The Clever (MacDonald, 2001)
of Cats (Ga’g)
Fat Cat (MacDonald,
Tale of a Black Cat (MacDonald,
King of Cats (may or may not be appropriate for small
A Tale of Grass (Schwartz)
Little Red Hen (Garner)
Plan for the Visual Arts
Rainbow Cat Mask
Appropriate for 1-3
Lesson Objectives: An interdisciplinary mini-unit created with the theme of
cats. This portion of
the unit will provide students with a clear understanding of
primary and secondary colors as well as repetition (patterns) by
creating papers that will be used to construct a cat mask collage.
Materials Needed, Lesson 1:
1 sheet of 9 X 12
white art paper (80 LB. drawing is best or white tag board)
One inch blobs of
tempera paints in the three primary colors on paper plates
#10 paint brushes
table/desktops and for drying wet art on
Xeroxed copies of
“Repeated Pattern Ideas” for students to look at for ideas
Pencils for writing
names on back of art papers
Materials Needed, Lesson 2:
School Glue (bottles)
Tracers for cat
parts that is included with this lesson (cut from tag board)
Brush for applying
Water cans to soak
and clean brushes
Have examples of
paper they will be creating plus an example of the finished art
Review color theory and demonstrate how to
apply the color in stripes on the paper.
Review patterns and how to repeat motifs to
create a pattern; share examples that they can get ideas from
(don’t need to copy, but this is a springboard for their own
Demonstrate how to draw some simple patterns
on the 9 X 12 sheet of paper.
Demonstrate how to paint this sheet (in a
“stripe” formation) having six colors when finished (make
three new ones from the three primary colors!)
Remind students to use the paintbrush on the
paper as if they were petting a kitty cat (soft and gentle, easy
does it! DO NOT MOP THE KITCHEN FLOOR!)
Hand out repeated pattern example sheets,
paper and markers.
Put names on backs with PENCILS (markers show
Draw designs that are simple but will be
effective and add interest to their finished work.
Give out paints, water cans, and brushes as
Lesson Two: (after art papers
Students will trace pieces for the cat’s
body (on 9x 12 painted papers.)
I prefer to have students trace on the back
white side of the paper so they can see the lines for cutting.
Cut traced shapes on lines.
Eyes are best done if the teacher or adult
assistant does this.
Using Elmer’s white bottled school glue,
assemble pieces to create the cat’s face.
Remind students to use “freckle-sized
dots” of glue for attaching these pieces!
Use a light coating of Elmer’s glue applied
all over the cat mask to make sturdier.
Punch holes on sides and attach a piece of
elastic to the mask to keep it on.
Evaluation of Lesson:
Students loved making the paper to create
their cat; although directions call for primary and secondary
colors, some students chose to be creative and make other
arrangements of colors (one student used only green and blue
stripes.) The success
of this lesson was high and the students come away with a working
knowledge of the primary and secondary colors as well as a
finished product that they adore.
My original art lesson was to use a circle
for the cat’s body and brass paper fasteners for a head and
tail. I have altered this plan to accommodate the idea of mask
making for the storytelling unit.
Teaching or revisiting my song Red,
Yellow, Blue (sung to the tune of Three blind Mice)
would also be appropriate with this lesson.
Create a felt board and use Leo Lionni’s Little
Blue and Little Yellow to present to the class as
reinforcements for primary and secondary colors.
Mouse Paint a book by Ellen Stoll
Walsh is another possibility for a felt board storytelling
Plan for The Art of Creative Writing
Creating Visual Images Through Written Words
Appropriate for grades 1-3
Lesson Objectives: To create
interesting visual imagery through a creative writing exercise
that will compliment a visual art piece (“Rainbow Cat Mask.”)
Finished rainbow cat collage to look at.
Imagination and creativity!
Form poetry can either be done on an overhead
or if the teacher chooses xeroxed papers for each student.
This will hopefully not be the first creative
writing exercise for students, but in some cases it may be. Using simple form poetry ideas are a wonderful way for
students to stretch their minds.
Even at the beginning writing stages of first grade the
students can be “pumped” through dictation and these poems can
sound sophisticated and wonderful.
Students will receive their rainbow cat so
they have them to look at while they do this creative writing
Use the “IF” poetry idea (*see the following page for more examples)
Using the subject of cats, colors, or rainbows, students are sure
to come up with some magnificent ideas.
cat as the subject)
If I were a cat,
I’d meow softly like a gentle breeze.
I’d pounce on mice that zoom about in my
I’d sneak like a cheetah in the long
I’d kill that mouse with one paw,
And leave it by the doorstep,
And then snooze in the warm sun.
just one color, yellow, as the subject)
If I were yellow
I’d be the warm summer sun.
I’d shine like a rose in the bright
I’d warm Earth like a burning fire, and
I’d smile and sing and dance
In the big blue sky.
(9) and Shelby (7)
(Using primary and secondary colors)
If I were red,
I’d be a fire burning on a cold winter
If I were yellow, I’d be a big smelly
If I were orange I’d be a juicy piece of
If I were blue I’d be the warm ocean
where people come to swim and surf.
If I were green I’d be a sailboat
in the choppy lake.
If I were purple I’d be a sweet juicy
growing on a vine.
Sterling, Age 9
choice for the subject of “IF “ poems could be a rainbow or
Alternate Creative Writing Idea:
Do a simple color poem choosing just one color.
Use analogies, similes or metaphors to
express feelings about a single color. (Taken From The World Wide
Web, February 8, 2002: www.pics4learning.com/pics/Lessons/lesson/colors.html)
Analogies: a comparison as to how
something would be alike or similar.
Descriptions of things compared that are unlike each other
using like or as.
A figure of speech in which a term is transferred from the
object it ordinarily designates to an object it may designate only
by implicit comparison or analogy. Creating an image of an
object/thing by a description.
is like a fond memory of a special time.
is autumn leaves covering a forest path.
is the flames in a fire.
Or, even simpler, list objects, which are,
or remind you of, a specific color.
Acrostics would be a great brainteaser for young writers:
are currently working on cat tales as part of visual arts and
language arts project. Each
student is bringing home a cat story that the parent will help the
child read. The idea
is that the child will rehearse over the next week a way to recall
the story and tell it to back to the group in an interesting way.
The story can be adapted for the child, words changed if
needed for their ability, and the focus will be on delivering the
story so others understand it.
Encourage your child to retell their story after they have
learned it to all your family members so they will be getting
practice with their delivery.
Once the students get comfortable with the plot of the
story, then they can practice using different voices if they like.
students are all working on a different story and will be
presenting the cat tales to the class __________ and __________.
This is a fun and exciting way for the students to learn
the art of storytelling. They
will be using a paper cat mask as they deliver their story to
are all looking forward to this and hope your little kitten will
practice at home. Meow!
good way to learn to recall a story is to make some simple
drawings to show the story sequence.
A few times of “reading” from the picture sheet will
make for instant success. Have
your child try this and see how it works.
Bader, B. (1991).
Aesop & Company. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
De Caro, F.
(1992)The Folktale Cat. Little Rock Arkansas: August
Gathings, E. (1988). Cut and Make Cat
Masks in Full Color. New York: Dover Publications.
Ga’g, W. (1988). Millions of Cats. New
York: Howard McCann, Inc.
(1997). The Little Red Hen. New York: DK Publishing.
Hamilton. M. & Weiss, M. (1999).
How and Why Stories: World Tales Kids Can
Read & Tell. Little
Rock Arkansas: August House Books.
MacDonald, M. (2001).
Fat Cat. Little
Rock Arkansas: August House
MacDonald, M. (2001). Mabela the Clever.
Little Rock Arkansas: August
MacDonald, M. (1988).
When The Lights Go Out: Twenty Scary Tales To
York: H, W. Wilson Company.
O’Neill, M. (1988).
Hailstones and Halibut Bones: Adventures in Color.
New York: Doubleday Publishing.
Schwartz, A. (1992).
Stories To Tell A Cat. New York:
Sweeney, J. (1994).
Quick poetry activities.
New York, New York: Scholastic