Since it is Picturebook Month, I decided kindergarten and 1st grade would study an author or two who has written several picturebooks. I also wanted kid friendly videos to introduce the author and fun centers for students to enjoy. I searched through several authors and decided to go with Leo Lionni.
To introduce my students to Lionni, I played two videos from the Random House site: "Why Leo Writes" and "Leo Makes a Mouse". These are the perfect length for younger students and they ALL loved watching Lionni create a mouse from pieces of paper.
Right after the videos, each table of students had a different activity center. They rotated through these centers every 8 minutes.
Draw like the Illustrator bookmark: Cut copy paper in thirds to be the size of a bookmark (for little hands) and provide crayons. Each student looked through a Lionni book and modeled his illustration style.
Mouse Shapes: Using Lionni's mouse books (Frederick & Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse), students took shape blocks and formed them to look like his mice.
Little Blue and Little Yellow 'picture': Provide students with white paper and blue and yellow crayons. They draw a picture in blue and then color over it in yellow, therefore turning the picture green.
A Color of His Own 'create a chameleon': Students are given pipe cleaners and asked to make a chameleon. The idea came from this site.
Leo Lionni Books: Students were given tablets to listen to Leo Lionni stories on via Youtube Kids.
Students LOVED these centers!
Image from randomhousekids.com