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Falling Leaves Poetry Spinners

Observing leaves inspires scientists and poets alike. Combine the two by making falling leaf marks and writing poetry.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Take students out on a mildly windy fall day to watch leaves and seedpods fall from trees. Time how long it takes for different types to fall. Notice the directions, motions, and "dances" they make while falling. Mimic the movement with Crayola Color Pencil sketches. Students gather safe, fallen leaves and seed pods. Wash hands after collecting them.
    2. Students identify the different leaves and seed pods. With Crayola Markers, create a chart. Glue the leaves and pods to the chart.
    3. Students read classic poems and/or listen to classic songs about fall and falling leaves. For example, listen to "Autumn Leaves." "Les Feuilles Mortes," in French or English, is a fun, inspirational recording. Read Robert Frost’s poem "October." Students write original poems about fall.
    4. Draw the largest possible oval on construction paper. Students write a poem within the oval using Crayola No Drip Paint Brush Pens. Use the brush much like a calligraphy pen to get swirling letters. Use different colors to highlight words or lines.
    5. On the other side of the paper, students draw the movements of different falling leaves to create beautiful patterns. Students listen to music while doing this to inspire their movements. Use a different color for each pattern.
    6. Begin cutting a spiral along the edge of the oval. Cut inward, leaving about the width of two fingers between spirals. Cut closer and closer until the center is reached.
    7. Punch a hole in the center. Tie ribbon to hang spirals from the ceiling or windows. Create a room of falling leaves and poetry. Students read poetry aloud to the class.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

    LA: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting or plot.

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding word s.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    LA: With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    After experiencing the Fall poetry, challenge students to work collaboratively in small groups to compose an original poem about fall leaves. Ask students to illustrate their poem. Audio record the groups reading their poetry and upload the files to a class computer. Attach the audio file to a digital photograph of the children's' illustrations.

    Have students choose one tree to observe throughout the school year. Have them record the seasonal changes by drawing the leaves throughout the months of the school year. Use roll paper to make a large tree sketch and change the leaves as the seasons change.

    Organize a poetry reading. Have students decorate a stage with their Poetry Spinners. Invite other classes and parents to attend the reading.


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