Inspiring children one color at a time

Do YOU Have a Hat?

By on Jan 21, 2012 | 6 comments

A while ago, I stumbled across the most adorable children’s books. Do You Have a Hat? written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Geraldo Valerio features the hats of some very famous individuals: Goya, Lincoln, Carmen Miranda to name a few. It’s a great read for the classroom; funny, brief, historical and visually dynamic.

Since the book was written for the younger elementary student, I geared the art lesson for 1st grade.  I created hat templates for the children to trace and decorate (sombrero, sunhat, cowboy hat, top hat, winter hat, etc). After tracing the hat onto a sheet of paper, the children then had a good starting point to draw the rest of their body. This turned out to be a perfect combination of literature, craft (hat decorating) and art (drawing and watercolor resist).

After doing this lesson a few times, I realized that instead of  using all the hat templates in one lesson, you can break the lesson down into seasons (winter hat art project, Fiesta, Summer Fun ,etc.) In a way, it makes it easier to help the students. This lesson is featured in my PDF Art Booklet, Art and Literature. It includes step-by-step tutorials, handouts and templates.

Here is a sampling of my first grade student’s work….

Stacy at Sleepyhead Design Studios did the hat lesson as well. I think her kids did and AMAZING job. Click on over and check out her amazing blog.





  1. I love this project, but I can not find the step by step lesson plan to complete it. Can anyone direct me?

    Leanne Walkom

    January 21, 2012

  2. Hi Leanne,
    I post hundreds of free lesson tutorials but this one happens to be in a PDF file that you pay to download. Click on the link “PDF Art Booklet” in the post to be directed to the shop.


    January 21, 2012

  3. Patty-thanks so much for mentioning my post! It is an awesome lesson bc of your great pdf!

    stacy spangler

    January 23, 2012

  4. I do this lesson & read the book with third graders (following a lesson in self-portraits). Because they then know the proper proportions for a face, they create a cut-paper self-portrait and don their favorite hat – one that reveals their unique personality or favorite past time. Probably better suited for a little older student then they are free to create their own chapeau!


    January 27, 2012

  5. Rock it Patty. Thanks


    February 27, 2012

  6. My firsties had the best ever time with this project. After reading the book, and learning a little history, we had some adorable princesses and rowdy cowboys, complete with buttons, feathers, lace, and leather! Thanks for making the lesson available as an Art and Literature unit.


    April 14, 2012


  1. Do YOU Have a Hat?: 31 Days of Picture Books for Everyone - Everyday Snapshots - […] Space Sparkle art blog has an adorable activity perfect for an afternoon indoors. Check out the great student […]

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