Crab Collage inspired by Eric Carle

Term: 3 Year: 2009

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Each year students are introduced to a new printmaking technique or a more complex version of previous printing.

These crab collages are the work of year 3 and 4 students studying the topic of the sea. They are a combination of a PVA
print and inked papers.

The process is as follows

  • Students were given various images of crabs and drew their chosen image directly onto thin card.
  • They then drew over their lines using a nozzled PVA glue bottle producing a thin line of glue.
  • The card is left to dry completely
  • The entire surface was inked using a mix of yellow, red and a little white water based inks.
  • Printed onto black paper
  • The black paper surface is then rubbed completely with the palm of the hand to transfer the ink.
  • We then discussed Eric Carle’s work. He is 80 years old this year and celebrating 40 years since he created The Very
    Hungry Caterpillar. His book “A house for Hermit Crab” was shown to the class and we talked about
    the papers we might use to create an environment for their crabs. So we set forth and created a series of papers.
    Each student made 3-4 sheets each. They could use white or black paper.
  • To make the clean-up easier we started with the lightest colours on the palette and then added another to create
    the next colour. So it was sandy colours first, yellow, white and then added blue to create a greeny water colour
    and then maybe a black to create rocks.
  • They then added red to create a seaweed colour. The students loved the inking and unrestricted freedom to create

Assembling the Collage

Everyone chose a warm coloured background paper and proceeded to cut out their crabs and tear and cut out their environment.

Rock pools, sand, water and seaweed all started to appear. Some students chose to tear into small pieces and layer the collage,
others tore or cut larger pieces. Gluing into position once it was assembled.

Students completed a Self Assessment on completion of the printmaking unit.

Comparing two printmaking techniques we had used. Previously we had done a foam board print of fish. So we compared
that process and the PVA print. What new skills they had learnt, any difficulties encountered.

The most enjoyable aspect of the printing and their own level of satisfaction with their work.


Janie Frith
Valkstone Primary School