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Westminster students give lesson on creating Eric Carle-style artwork

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Posted on Friday, December 10, 2021

Famed children’s author and illustrator Eric Carle may have passed away earlier this year, but Westminster College students have been carrying on Carle’s legacy by teaching area first graders how to create artwork in Carle’s distinctive fashion.

Working with the Laurel School District, Westminster students in the Arts for the Developing Child class—taught by Westminster School of Education faculty member Todd Cole ’83—created a three-step instructional video teaching Carle’s collage process. Carle’s technique is featured in his picture books such as the iconic 1969-published “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” which has become a staple on the bookshelves of toddlers across the globe.

The student video, which also provided facts about Carle’s life and showcased a selection of his books, was delivered to first grade teachers at Laurel, along with necessary art materials purchased by Westminster students with funds raised earlier in the semester.

Cole, who is also retired Laurel Elementary School teacher and a 1983 Westminster alumnus, said Westminster students enrolled in his course discuss why art forms—from visual arts to music—are crucial to children and how they can enhance the learning process in language arts, writing, reading, social studies and science. Cole said his students also examine how introducing art to young minds can also serve as a positive outlet for students with anxiety, depression, anger and sadness.

The first graders’ artwork is currently on display in the School of Education at Westminster College.