Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kinder Habitat Accordion Artist Books

My inspiration for this project came from That Artist Woman's tutorial of how to make file folder books!
Her examples are amazingly paint and collage filled. Due to the very small size of my classroom and other constraints I couldn't approach my project with covering the pages with so many materials but the file folder book worked still worked perfectly as the basis for this project. It was actually how I came up the idea to put the habitat studies altogether rather than making separate pieces of habitat-inspired art this year. 
(Thank you Gail!)

Kindergarten made "Artist Books" that showcased four habitats that they had studied in science. 
Each habitat had artwork made in the style of a notable artist. 
I specifically picked two male and two female artists and very different art styles to focus on. 
The file folder books worked great because each artist and habitat had a: 
-back ground artwork that was attached to the book
-an animal for that habitat that could be housed in the pocket but then taken out
-a title paper for each habitat and artist

Our artists & habitats:
1. The coral reef in the style of Georgia O'keeffe
2. The rainforest in the style of Romare Bearden
3. The arctic in the style of Lee Krasner
4. The desert in the style of Roy Lichtenstein

1. Coral Reef in the style of Georgia O'keeffe : color variation & paint
For this I had the students focus on how Georgia O'keeffe is able to create many shades of a color, looking at the various tones of blues and reds and purples she includes in each piece of art. 

Crayon resist with construction paper salmon/coral colored crayons,
we painted with watercolor using two different blues (royal blue and turquoise)
to try and mimic O'keeffe's variation in color. 

The kids drew horizontal yellow marker lines on the watercolor paper before painting it
to create the seahorse texture then cut out the seahorse shapes. 

2. Rainforest in the style of Romare Bearden : collage

The background and animals focused on collage of course!
Background: tree trunks of brown construction paper and then lots of leaves using tissue paper.

I had saved rainbow painted paper the kids had made a while back. 
We used the paper to cut out the feathers for the parrots. 

3. Arctic in the style of Lee Krasner : Abstract Expressionism & movement

I've never really taught a lesson about Lee Krasner. The more I read about her the more fascinating I found her to be. (And she really made me proud to be a woman artist!)
Did you know she's only one of four woman to have a retrospective at MOMA??
(the others being Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Bourgeois, Elizabeth Murray). 

Background: Painted icebergs and snowy water with white tempera. 

Animal: Penguins!
They were cut out of a black paper painted in the style of Krasner with white tempera using moving brush strokes.

*The bottom black section was saved to cut the penguin wings out of.

4. The Desert in the style of Roy Lichtenstein : Pop Art

As we looked at a slide show of Lichtenstein's work I had the kids focus on the limited color palette, bold patterns of dots and lines, and cartoon-ish outlines. 

Background: Using Lichtenstein's Sunrise as inspirations students created their own version using thin Mr. Sketch markers. The cactus was drawn and cut out separately and then glued down. 

Animal: Lichtenstein Lizards!

Some final products:

The back of the book had bios of each artist. 


  1. What a great idea to integrate other curriculum with artists' styles!!! Parents will treasure these!!

  2. What a beautiful lesson. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Rachel, what a great project! Love your adaptation of the file folder book and the use of "In the style of" for the different pages/habitats. I will have to try this on future file folder book projects!
    Thanks so much for the link back!

  4. This is very lovely work! I would like to get in touch with you regarding one of your posts which was made on April 8, 2013. Please send me an email to as we'd love to make a feature post about your Rock Star projects. Thank you!