Monday, September 30, 2013

Paint, Cut and Paste a Leafy River Scene

      This fall leaf art lesson was inspired by a very popular children's book, "Leaf Man" by Lois Ehlert. View and hear the book below.
      The project may be completed over several consecutive days in an early learning center environment:
  • First day: Collect and share fall leaves from your center's playground and/or surrounding neighborhood.
  • Second day: Draw and cut many stencil patterns from the leaves that students have collected from the previous day. Let students play with the stencils, discovering how these can be layered or moved about in order to mimic the creatures depicted in the Leaf Man book.
  • Third day: Draw plastic combs through acrylic and glitter paints on construction paper to recreate the Autumn colors found in the student's leaf collection.
  • Fourth day: Trace the leaf stencils onto the decorated papers and cut them out. Now let each student paste together his or her own river scene depicting fish and turtles similar to those illustrated in the Leaf Man book.
  • Fifth day: Let the students help you display their dry art works in the hallway or classroom of their school. Serve up some warm cider or chocolate and talk about all the things they have accomplished while enjoying the fall leaves!

      Harcourt Trade Publishers also includes a fun teacher's guide for an alternative art project. Below I have linked to additional fall leaf lessons that young students may enjoy.
Students paint, cut and paste leafy fish and turtles to swim in their colorful blue river.
A detail of the paper turtle cut from papers combed with glitter paints.
Young students can achieve very professional looking results when they work
 from stencils. Collecting, tracing and cutting leaf stencils is a very complex
exercise for little students but it teaches them confidence, patience and a
set of tasks that will generate excellent results. Chunk down lofty goals into
 to smaller tasks that may be performed successfully and your little artists
will achieve great things!
This popular children's book is read by Jonah.

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