Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Literacy Activities, paint printing, Painting, Picture Book Activities | 0 comments

M was so excited to wake up and find his cousin O here yesterday morning! It was a dreary, rainy sort of day (much like today) and I knew the boys would need something to keep them occupied after exhausting the majority of toys in the house. Being a teacher, and a lover of literature, my immediate impulse was to find a picture book and create an activity around it. M and I have been talking a bit about camouflage lately, and how it helps keep animals safe from predators, so when I spotted Leo Lionni’s A Color of His Own, I knew it would be the perfect book to devise a quick, hands-on lesson around.

Leo Lionni, A Color of His Own

This book stars a lonely chameleon who yearns for immutability. Being a chameleon, his colour constantly changes, while the colours of the other animals he encounters stay the same. Although the chameleon has no problem blending in with his surroundings, he is not able to identify and blend in with the other animals. Eventually the chameleon meets and befriends an older and wiser chameleon and learns to accept and appreciate his identity. It’s a lovely story about friendship, and finding that special someone who loves you for you, and all your range of colours (emotions, abilities, interests, etc.).

We started this activity by talking about what we already knew about chameleons. Both the boys instantly knew the chameleon’s distinctive ability to change colour, so we discussed the advantages of camouflage and brainstormed some other animals that use camouflage to keep them safe. Then we read the picture book A Color of His Own, by Leo Lionni. The boys really liked the story and they were happy the chameleon found a friend he could be himself with.

Just that morning my order from Chapters arrived (I ordered the box set series of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, which I was super excited about) but, in addition to the books, also came a a bunch of bubble-wrap just begging to be included in some sort of art project, and to be popped by little fingers too of course. I cut the bubble wrap into squares and gave each of the boys a piece, along with a paint dabber. The boys painted the bubble-wrap with the different coloured paint dabbers, and then stamped the bubble-wrap onto a sheet of white paper.

'A Colour of His Own' art activity  'A Colour of His Own' art activity

'A Colour of His Own' art activity  'A Colour of His Own' art activity

They made bubble prints until their entire white pages were full of colourful scales for their chameleons’ bodies.

'A Colour of His Own' art activity  'A Colour of His Own' art activity

Next, I printed and cut out an image of Leo Lionni’s chameleon and traced and cut out the images from the boys’ colourful, bubble printed paper.

'A Color of His Own' art activity

The boys glued on a googly eye (I didn’t have large ones, but they would look better), and drew on a straight line for a mouth. We talked about camouflage again, and I told the boys to colour a background that their chameleon could blend into.

'A Color of His Own' art activity  'A Color of His Own' art activity

As they coloured, the boys watched an animated version of the book A Color of His Own. I find when they are a bit distracted, they colour more :).

Once they had finished colouring their backgrounds with crayon, they glued their chameleons onto them to see how well they camouflaged.

'A Color of His Own' art activity  'A Color of His Own' art activity

'A Color of His Own' art activity

And that’s how I kept three little bugs busy on a rainy day :).

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