Eric Carle inspired ladybugs

One of the Eric Carle books that just has to be read and enjoyed every year is The Very Grouchy Ladybug.

We love the art work, as a teacher I embrace the math concepts, and we enjoy all the animals.  But we wonder, why does that ladybug need to be so grouchy!

We sorted that conundrum by making not-so-grouchy ladybugs! Eric Carle style.

First we looked at how Eric Carle created his ladybugs - he cut painted paper.

We started by making painted paper.

Each child painted half a piece of heavier bond photocopier paper red with a sponge. I love how sponges cover a lot of paper quickly - and create wonderful lines and textures with the paint.

When the papers were all painted, I cut them to 5 1/2" x 6" rectangles (and saved the scraps for other projects).

The kids decided if they wanted a ladybug that was taller, or a ladybug that was wider.  Then they cut two "curvy corners" at the top of their paper.

Cutting curvy corners is a tricky skill. It seems much easier for the kids to draw and/or cut a concave curve than a convex one. We keep practicing ....

A black ladybug head. It starts a  2 1/2" black square of construction paper. Four curvy corners later, it is a ladybug head.

A ladybug is an insect, therefore it has six legs. A couple pieces of black construction paper -- 2.5 x 3"  are cut into three legs each.

A ladybug needs 2 antennae. We drew them on with a black crayon.

And spots. Time for some more math. We shook our handy dandy container that holds two dice, shook it, and added the numbers together.

That's how many dots the ladybug got. Not very scientific, but quite mathematical. 

The ladybugs needed faces. Grouchy faces  -  or not-grouchy faces.  

Each child had to decide what kind of ladybug they would like to be. We chatted about different emotions, and how our faces and bodies look when we are feeling them. 

I took photos of all the children, printed them, and the kids glued them onto the ladybug black head. 

The Grouchy Ladybug was very verbal. There was absolutely no doubt how she was feeling about the world.  Our not-so-grouchy ladybugs also needed to have a voice. 

So we gave them one. 

Click on the speech bubbles to get your own copy. 

Sometimes a smaller ladybug is the right size ladybug.

We have also made them with 3 1/2 x 4 1/2"  red paper, 2" square paper for the round head, and 2 pieces of 1 1/2 x 2" paper to cut to make the legs.  Click on the graphic below to print the speech bubbles.

We enjoy lots of Eric Carle activities in our classroom. Click on the photos to get the low down.

The Very Lonely Firefly

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Tiny Seed


1 comment

  1. Those are very sweet bugs! I like how the kids have the option to give their bugs a different defining characteristic :)


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