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Welcome! With a Hawaiian Lei

When Hawaiians plan a family get together, they make a lei for everyone coming to the event. Welcome guests to your classroom and school with bright leis.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Colorful tropical flower leis are used to welcome people to the Hawaiian Islands. They are worn at weddings and always play a part in big family celebrations. Find out more about this colorful tradition and the kinds of flowers used. Why not start a school tradition of giving leis to visitors? This is one way to create gorgeous tropical flowers with paper.
    2. To make 10 flowers, use Crayola® Scissors to cut 20 pieces of paper, each 2 by 4 inches (5 x 10 cm). Fold each piece in half.
    3. Hold the folded side with one hand. Cut a flower shape (scalloped edges) along the open sides. Punch a hole in the middle of the folded edge. Unfold. Decorate the flowers with Crayola Washable Markers.
    4. Glue the folded edges of two papers together with Crayola School Glue. Repeat to make the other nine flowers. Air-dry your 3-dimensional blossoms!
    5. Cut 10 oval paper leaves about 2 inches (5 cm) long. Punch a hole in the top of each one. Color the leaves. In Hawaii, these are called ti leaves.
    6. Alternate your flowers and leaves on a long ribbon. Attach ends with tape around your neck. Welcome guests with a friendly "Aloha!" and a beautiful lei. How else can you be sure they enjoy their visit?
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships.

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

    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: Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.

    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: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    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.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: A Lei for Tutu by Rebecca Nevers Fellows; May Day/Lei Day by Jeffrey Kent

    Encourage students to investigate early Polynesian voyagers who took an incredible journey from Tahiti, brought the custom of the lei to the Hawaiian Islands. When did they make this voyage? What technology did they use to navigate? Plot their probable voyage with a star chart. Share findings with classmates.

    Students create a timeline of when each of the 50 states became part of the United States. Link these dates with other events in the world at the time. Display the timelines in the classroom for quick reference.

    Encourage students to collaborate in small groups to listen to Hawaiian music. What instruments are considered Hawaiian? The hula is a traditional dace of Hawaii and the dance tells a story. Ask a community member that is familiar with the hula to teach it to the class. Have student groups compose a story that will be told with their version of the hula.


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