Spring brings an explosion of color and an awakening of our senses. It’s a great time to inspire children’s creativity and to make colorful works of art.
When Pigcasso Met Mootisse, by Nina Laden, is a brightly illustrated book that tells the story of what happened when two famous artists with very different styles become neighbors. Before long, the two friends become rivals and a colorful art feud ensues.
When you provide children with positive group reading experiences, you support language and literacy development. Through repeated readings of the same story, you help children develop comprehension, concepts of print, and visual discrimination. Follow-up activities help children make real-life connections to the text.
Read When Pigcasso Met Mootisse, aloud during story time each day over the course of a week. During rereadings, encourage the children to make observations about the artists’ paintings in the story. Explain that the characters in the book are really based on the two famous artists Pablo Picasso and Henry Matisse. Ask the children to describe the differences between the two styles of art. Then, go beyond the text with two creative art projects.
One Storybook, Two Great Activities
Mootisse-Style Stamp Art
Use stampers and paint to create art like Mootisse. To give the project a more artistic flair—and to promote motor development—have the children paint upright, rather than on a tabletop. Use easels, if you have enough. Otherwise, turn your classroom tables on their sides and tape the projects directly to the tables. You can use both sides of the table for this purpose. Be sure to provide enough elbowroom between children.
Using tempera paint can be messy. So suit the kids up in smocks, first. Put only one color on each paper plate. Prepare enough paint plates so that every three or so children can share one complete set of colors. Have the children use paper towels to wipe off the stampers between colors to prevent unwanted mixing.
* 11”x18” White Poster board (1 per student)
* Selection of stampers
* Paper plates for paint
* Tempura paint, various bright colors
* Paper towels
1. Review the Mootisse paintings in the book. Point out how Mootisse uses repeated textures and shapes in his paintings. Explain that you’re going to use stamps to create art like Mootisse.
2. Demonstrate how children can tape the posters to the tables either length-wise or height-wise (landscape or portrait).
3. Pass out tape and posters for children to hang on their tabletops.
4. Pass out the variety of stamps along with the paints.
5. Start stamping!
This project is best done on a tabletop. Children will create a portrait of Pigasso in the style of Picasso—with bright colors and uniquely out-of-place features. You will need to photocopy one head and one set of facial features for each child. After painting, children will cut out the head and facial features and explore creative ways to assemble them on their poster board canvases.
* Poster board (11”x18”)
* Paintbrushes (large and small)
* Cups/bowls with water
* Photocopies of Pigasso Head and Facial Features cut-outs (heavy stock paper is best)
1. Review the Pigasso paintings from the book. Discuss how Pigasso often put eyes, noses, and ears in the wrong places. Explain that you’re going to make your own portrait of Pigasso using his style of bright colors and creatively placed facial features.
2. Paint a background on the posters (large brushes using one color or several). Encourage the children not to saturate the poster board with paint.
3. Paint the head cut-out (large brushes).
4. Paint the facial features cut-outs (small brushes).
5. Cut out the head first, then the facial features.
6. Glue the head onto the background first. Then glue the facial features.