Monday, January 16, 2012

Shapes and the Bad Cat

I happened to pick up a book at Half Priced Books...just a reach out and grab without caring what I picked up...and low and behold it was the CUTEST childrens book I've ever read! It was so good that I thought I'd create a lesson plan around it. Let me warn you that this was a tedious lesson but the students had a blast, and learned about shapes, and background, and sharpened their collage making skills. So what was the book you ask? It was "Bad Cat Puts On His Top Hat" by Tracy McGuinness.
I read the book to the students (2nd & 3rd Grade), then we talked about geometric shapes, organic shapes, background and foreground, collage and of course we went over scissor rules and how to use a glue stick. I demonstrated how to draw the body of the cat on black paper using a construction paper crayon. I had circles for them to trace, we know how aggravating it is to free hand a circle.
Then we made circles for the eyes, a top hat, the nose, mouth and teeth. The background they created on their own. For second grade we labeled each part of the cat so we'd be able to put it together. This took 5 - 45 minute classes to finish, but let me show you how awesome they are. WARNING: You may be overwhelmed by cuteness.


  1. Fabulous!!! I'm cracking up!

    Gotta love those 1/2 price bookstores. We don't have one any more (actually we don't have ANY bookstore as of a couple of months ago - very sad when the independent bookstore closed down). When my son was young I bought an obscure book at one of those 1/2 price stores called The Hour of the Frog. It is absolutely adorable and remains one of my favorite kid books. Bad Cat looks like another fantastic find!!

  2. Phyl, I don't know what I'd do if we didn't have half price. I love being able to hold a book and look through it before buying it. I can also bring my dog to browse, which is an added bonus! I'm going to have to check out The Hour of the Frog!

  3. What a cute lesson- I love the different personalities on all the faces!

  4. How cute! Never heard of this book. Looks like a fun project.

  5. Hi there! I am the illustrator/author of Bad Cat puts on his top hat and I just found your blog,
    It is so wonderful to see that my book which sadly is already out of print is living on!
    The work that your class produced is fantastic and it really makes me so happy that you made a lesson plan inspired by Bad Cat. A really wonderful surprise!
    I have been going into schools lately myself to create large murals with the children.My website shows some of these projects
    I looked at other projects that you have done with your class, very nice work I bet they love you!
    Thanks for keeping Bad Cat alive! By the way there is another book of Bad Cat this is the second in
    a series of 2 and I am working on a third.I also hope to create an animation of him in the near future.
    All the best to you,
    Tracy McGuinness-Kelly

  6. I cannot tell you how much my students LOVE your book! They're always asking if I would read it to them again. They love the illustrations and we have such a great time looking at all the details and laughing at all the cuteness of it all! Your book is a total hit, with my school. I'm glad to see that we'll be seeing more of bad cat in the future.
    Thank you for leaving such a wonderful comment on my page. I can't wait to tell the students tomorrow. They'll be so excited! Keep up the wonderful work. We love you!!

  7. Thanks again its so good to hear how much they love Bad Cat ! Both books were created when I lived in Brooklyn New York. I am originally from the U.K. and now live back there again.
    See if you can get your hands on the first book, its called 'Bad Cat' probably on sale on Amazon, Bad cat gets in and out of all kinds of trouble in that one too there are lots more laughs to be had!
    All the best to you and your students!