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Take My Hand & Follow the Leader

Build self-confidence and develop leadership in young artists as they use a variety of Crayola media and techniques to create their own ‘pathways’ and patterns.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. During a unit of study focused on multiculturalism and diversity, discuss the meaning of the term 'leadership'. Pose questions such as: What does it mean to lead? Who do you know that are leaders in your family? Your school? Your community? Among your friends? Through the discussion be certain students understand the difference between the concepts of leadership and following. This distinction can help build self-confidence in our leaders of tomorrow! You may want to ask them for examples of when they have taken on the role of a leader and when they have chosen to be a follower. Pose the question: When do you think you choose the leadership role? Why? When did you choose the role of a follower? Why?
    2. Lead students in playing the game "Follow the Leader". Exaggerate a variety of movements and varying pathways. For example, hopping; skipping, zig zag; moving high/moving low; spreading arms to create a wide path; wrapping arms tightly to create a thin path; holding hands; placing hands on shoulders, etc. Have the children suggest additional movements.
    3. Repeat the Leadership discussion with children helping them define what they have observed, what they did and how they knew how to move during the game. Discussions may be as a whole class or in small groups.
    4. Challenge students to think of how we find leaders in our own class, in groups, families and communities. Read Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. While reading the story, point out not only the variety of faces but also the patterned borders that frame each image in the story. Are they alike or different? Can they follow the patterns with their fingers, as if they were playing "follow the leader" around the pages?
    5. Once the discussion appears to have concluded, invite students to create original Patterned Pathways. These will be designs that represent leadership pathways that the children envision. Students will use a variety of Crayola products and art techniques with wide strips of colored construction paper to design their own "pathway". The pathway will be embellished with patterns and colors as if the artist was leading his/her followers.
    6. DIRECTIONS FOR PATTERNED PATHWAYS: Students use Crayola Construction Paper Crayons, Blunt-Tip Scissors, Multicultural Markers and construction paper to trace, cut and color the shape of their hands.
    7. With a Crayola Ultra-Clean Marker, students draw a single line (which may be straight, curvy, zig zag, curly, fat, thin, etc.) as their own leadership 'pathway'. Embellish the pathway with a variety of techniques and products including, but not limited to: drawing patterns and lines with Construction Paper Crayons; using peeled crayons and rubbing plates to create patterns and designs; use markers to draw shapes, lines, patterns and colors; and/or combine the use of markers and crayons to write their names.
    8. Crayola Glue Sticks can be used to attach the hand to the end of a long strip of colored construction paper. This creates the impression that they are reaching out their hands to lead.
    9. NOTE: Prior to this lesson, consider having students make original rubbing plates. This can be done by using Crayola No-Run School Glue and mat board. Students draw an image/letter and outline it with glue. Allow 3 days for the glue to dry completely.
    10. Once all student artwork is completely dry, provide time in the schedule for students to discuss their "Patterned Pathway" and how it illustrated their leadership. Display student artwork prominently in the classroom so as to share their leadership abilities.
  • Standards

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

    LA: Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.

    LA: Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

    LA: Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

    LA: Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

    MATH: Reason with shapes and their attributes.

    SS: Describe personal changes over time, such as those related to physical development and personal interests.

    SS: Show how learning and physical development affect behavior.

    VA: Engage in exploration and imaginative play with materials.

    VA: Describe what an image represents.

    VA: Interpret art by identifying subject matter and describing relevant details.

    VA: Identify a purpose of an artwork.

  • Adaptations

    Display all student leadership strips connecting with each other to have a visual representation of 'Follow the Leader'.

    Invite families to view the display of leadership strips and invite family members to create and add their own lines and pathways.

    Staple some of the 'pathways' together to create a paper chain. This can serve as a visual representation of connectivity between being individuals and being leaders.

    Use Crayola Construction Paper Crayons and Ultra-Clean Markers, as well as crayon texture rubbings, to embellish colored construction paper strips. With blunt-tip scissors, have students organize these strips into a frame for their artwork. Use Crayola Glue Sticks to connect the corners of the frame.


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