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Color Tree Leaf Prints

Students use the changing of Autumn to engage their knowledge of color.

  • Directions

    1. As you begin this lesson, seek students' background knowledge on the subject of the seasons, particularly autumn. In opening the lesson, ask children what they know about the seasons. List their contributions on a classroom white board using Crayola® Dry Erase Markers. Let the class know that they will be focusing on the season of fall for this lesson.
    2. Read a picture book to students about autumn and falling leaves. Engage children with questions about the reading as the story progresses. Show students the illustrations and prompt them to share how the illustrations help with understanding the author's words.
    3. Organize a school yard field trip for students to observe the seasonal changes, including falling leaves and their change in color. Provide each student with a paper lunch bag to collect samples of fallen, non-poisonous leaves.
    4. Upon returning to the classroom, have students share their leaf collections and discuss what they see in terms of shape, color, etc.
    5. To begin the set-up for the leaf print activity, ask students to put on their Crayola® Art Smocks and cover their work space with recycled newspaper. Provide students with small containers of Crayola® Washable Tempera Paint in fall colors: red, yellow, brown, and orange.
    6. Using Crayola® So Big® Brushes, guide student to lightly paint the back of one of their leaves. Turn the leaf over while the paint is still wet and gently press it into a piece of white construction paper. This will create a print of the leaf shape and its veins. Have students create several leaf prints with various colors and shaped leaves. Allow prints to dry overnight.
    7. Using mural paper or a white tablecloth, sketch a tree with four sprawling branches using Crayola® Washable Markers. Label each branch with one fall color, matching the paint colors provided for student leaf prints.
    8. Using Crayola® Scissors, an adult will cut out each leaf print. Ask students to write their names on the back of each print.
    9. Ask students to bring their prints up to the tree, one at a time, to attach them to the branch that is labeled with the color of the print. Use Crayola® Glue Sticks to attach the prints to the tree branches.
    10. Step back and observe the fall tree the class has created. Have students comment on their artistic creation and discuss what they have learned about fall, trees, leaves, etc.
  • Standards

    LA: With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

    LA: With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear

    LA: Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    SCI: Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur; It's Fall (Celebrate the Seasons) by Linda Glaser; A Is for Autumn by Robert Maass; Leaf Man (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards)) by Lois Ehlert

    Invite students to investigate the types of leaves that have been collected during their school yard field trip, or at their homes. Use Internet resources to identify the leaf types. Challenge students to describe similarities and differences between leaf shapes, textures, and smells.

    Share a video with students whose topic is seasons. Ask students the similarities and differences between fall and other seasons.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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