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Maple Leaf Silhouettes

Oh Canada! Study the mighty maple and create a spatter painting with Crayola® Washable Paint and an old toothbrush.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Ask students to use Internet resources to find a picture of the Canadian flag. Invite them to notice the prominent maple leaf and the bright red colors on the flag. Why were this leaf and this color chosen as a national symbol of Canada? Students discussion to follow. Document contributions to the discussion using a classroom white board and Crayola Dry-Erase Markers.
    2. Organize students in small groups to research maple trees to learn where they grow, conditions under which they thrive, size, and ages of the oldest maples. Explore their uses as shade trees and for harvest of maple sugar.
    3. If weather permits, take students outdoors to search for fallen maple leaves, or use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to trace pictures of maple leaves on recycled file folders. Cut out the leaf patterns with Crayola Scissors.
    4. Ask students to cover their work surfaces with recycled newspaper. In a large, flat recycled box, such as a paper-box lid, arrange maple leaves in a pleasing design on white paper.
    5. Dip a recycled tooth brush in Crayola Washable Paint. Use your fingers to brush across the bristles, spattering paint onto the paper. Spatter a good amount of paint across the leaves.
    6. Students carefully remove the leaves and then the painting from the spatter-box. Allow paint to dry overnight.
    7. Provide time in the school day for students to share their Maple Leaf Silhouettes with classmates and parents, as well as including a conversation focused on what they have learned about maple trees and their leaves.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

    LA: Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text.

    LA: Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Show the data by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units—whole numbers, halves, or quarters.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

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

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

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

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Canada: The Culture (Lands, Peoples, & Cultures) by Bobbie Kalman; The Kids Book of Canada by Barbara Greenwood; The Kids Book of Canadian History by Charlotte Hacker; M Is For Maple: A Canadian Alphabet by Michael Ulmer

    Students work in small groups to explore the Canadian provinces, comparing and contrasting their geography, people, and other attributes. What people are native to this area of North America? Who do the histories of Canada, the United States, and Europe intertwine?

    Students taste various kinds of maple syrup. Record and graph class preferences. If possible, watch the process for collecting and making maple syrup. This sweet substance is also made in the United States. Which states are known for making maple syrup?

    Students use spatter painting techniques to create artwork with other natural objects. While objects that have been spattered are still wet with paint, lift them up and press them onto another paper to create a contact print.


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