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Flurry of Fall Foliage

Poetry, stories, warm colors and wet-on-wet watercolors for fall.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Students observe the art elements of color and line in autumn leaves, tree branches, and landscapes.
    2. With Crayola® Scissors, cut a large, rectangular sheet of watercolor paper in half lengthwise.
    3. Cover the art area with recycled newspaper. Place a thin line of black Crayola Watercolor paint about 1/2 inch (2 cm) from the bottom of the paper. With a straw, blow the paint upward to create tree trunks and branch patterns. Air-dry the paint.
    4. Wet the paper above the black paint with a paintbrush or a sponge and clear water. Brush a light wash of Watercolors across the background to create a fall sky.
    5. Press brushes filled with warm colors along the branches to create leaf clumps and fall foliage. Air-dry the painting.
  • 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.

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

    SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.

    SCI: Construct original explanations of phenomena using knowledge of accepted scientific theory and linking it to models and evidence.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

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

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Autumn is Here! by Heidi Pross Gray; The Wonders of Fall by Lillian Castro; Let It Fall by Maryann Cocca Leffler; It's Fall by Linda Glaser; Why Do Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro

    If possible, take students on a school yard field experience in September, prior to the turning of leaves. Have students collect leaves from a variety of trees and press them in school books. In late October, take students on a second school yard field experience to collect leaves during their most colorful time. Have them compare and contrast the second collection of leaves with the first. On a third school yard field experience, have students collect dried leaves that have fallen to the ground. Compare and contrast these to the first two sets of leaves collected. With assistance, create a written documentation of student observations.

    Have students read or list to audio recordings of some of Robert Frost's work (website: and/or listen to Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." In small groups, students write original poetry reflecting the changing season. Encourage students to illustrate their writing.

    Have student teams investigate other seasons. Compare and contrast these seasons to autumn.

    Invite students to investigate the work of Vincent van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky and other artists to see how they portrayed landscapes. Have students audiotape their observations and attach this file to the landscapes they investigated. Upload this presentation to a class computer for student viewing.


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