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The Corner Toolkit  >  Themed activities  >  The Curious Corner  >  Makes  >  The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse and other inventions

The Curious Corner makes

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse and other inventions


After reading Eric Carle’s books ‘The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse’ and ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see?’ use collage to create characters that play with the inversion of colour and simplification of form.


This activity uses Eric Carle’s books as the starting point for a collage activity. After reading both texts, children are encouraged to create an animal in an ‘unusual’ colour scheme and compare their creation with others. Using the language of comparison and opposites, the activity is intended to prompt children’s thinking about similarity and difference. Questioning during and following the activity is intended to further incorporate literacy and numeracy outcomes through sorting and comparison of collaged animals – for example: How many blue animals did we make? A further extension of this activity will see children ‘researching’ by using books to identify other animals that are the same/different to the ones they have produced.

Key Concepts

Similarity, difference, usual, unusual, comparison, opposite

Key Language

Same, different, opposite, bigger, smaller, lighter, darker.
Colours (for example): red, yellow, blue, white, rainbow, brown, blue, green, grey, orange, purple.


Various papers and craft materials including cellophane, textas, crayons, pencils, fabric etc in assorted colours.
Sticky tape on dispensers

Activity Steps

Step 1: Introduction

Read ‘The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse’ and ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see?’ Discuss and reinforce the use of colour in the book while reading.

Questions to ask:-

What do you notice about the horse?
What did you notice about the animals in the books?
How do you think Eric Carle made these pictures?

Step 2: Plan and design

Ask children to think of an animal they would like to create and choose a colour they will use for their collage.

Questions to ask:-

What colour are you using?
What made you choose that colour?
What is different about your animal from a (frog) you might see in real life?

Step 3: Making

Children start collaging on paper using the colour they have chosen. They make choices about the kinds of materials they use including textas, pencils, crayons, fabric, tissue paper, cellophane etc.

Older children can draw an outline of their animal on their collaged paper and then cut this out, younger children may need help with this step.

Step 4: Discussion

Use strategic questioning to prompt children to compare their creation with others.

Questions to ask:-

What colour is your (frog)?
How many (frogs) are there?
What is different about them?
Are there any other (green) animals?

Step 5: Research

Provide children with a selection of fiction and non fiction books in which they can further research their animals. If you are in a library ask the children to find books in the stacks themselves for this step.

Ask children to find more pictures of the animal that they chose to make. Once they have found more than one example ask them to find things that are siliar and things that are different in the pictures.

Useful Links

Eric Carle official page

Interview with Eric Carle

Interview with Eric Carle about his inspiration for 'The Artist Who Painted the Blue Horse'


Last updated: 16th July 2013

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