Last week I visited Gustine Elementary School kindergarten classes. I shared my book, "Over in the Valley" and we discussed characteristics of the various Valley species that are featured. We charted the animals according to their coverings; fur, feathers, skin or scales. I was able to bring along a few live animals, thanks to the Great Valley Museum, and the kids loved seeing real critters.
The California tiger salamander is one of the animals featured in my book -- on the cover in fact -- and one of the live animals I was able to bring. So, I decided to have the students create a picture of the salamander. Though I wish we would have had a little more time to add habitat, the salamanders turned out great!
We used water soluble wax pastels -- similar to watercolor pencils, but easier and faster for the younger kids. They produce nice, vibrant colors when the water is added, but can be left alone just as easily.
This was my first time to teach kindergarteners my drawing technique. They were really very successful for the most part, and they loved the process.
If you're interested in scheduling an author/illustrator visit, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org