It’s autumn and there are plenty of resources at your disposal — fallen leaves! And what’s more fun that getting festive during the changing seasons? We’ve brought you some creative lessons plans to celebrate fall.
1. Tie-dye coffee filter leaves
This is a perfect fall project to do with your younger kids. Cut out leaf-shaped patterns out of coffee filters for each of your students. They’ll then decorate their “leaves” with crayola markers. Once everyone is done, give the coffee filter leaves a couple of sprays with a squirt bottle to see the colors run. The outcome will be a cool tie dye pattern. Once the leaves are dry, your students can continue to decorate the leaves with veins and stems.
2. Spiky hedgehogs
If you live anywhere new Plane trees, you’re used to seeing their spiky seeds all over the ground during autumn. However, there are plenty of different types of spiky seeds that will work for this project, such as Sweetgum seeds. You should be able to find seeds easily at your local plant nursery. Simply have your students glue googly eyes and pompom noses to your seeds, and you’ve got your hedgehogs.
Your class can learn all about hedgehogs and how they live in the wild. Then, together you can go outside to collect natural materials to create hedgehog homes.
3. Fun fall leaf prints
Here’s a fun activity you can do with even your smallest students. Take your class outside to gather fallen leaves. Back in your classroom, each student should paint parts of their leaves different colors. They then place them on a sheet of white paper to make a stamp-like effect. Press on the leaves to make sure the details are transferred onto the paper.
Ask your students about the details on their leaves. Why are some veinier than others? How do these veins help the leaves to survive?
4. Shivery spoon scarecrows
Your class can each make their own wooden spoon scarecrow puppets for a fun autumn puppet show. All you’ll need are wooden spoons, glue, a marken or pen for the face, and bits of fabric or felt for the clothing. Afterward, create a backdrop, pick your favorite autumn history lesson and put on a fall puppet show for parents and other students to enjoy.
5. Turn your turkey red and orange
During fall, we are crazy about gathering leaves for creative projects. There are plenty of them to go around and they are also a free resource. During outside playtime have your little students gather as many varieties of fallen leaves and twigs as they can. Students can glue leaves to a sheet of paper to make their turkey’s feathers.
This is a great moment to learn about wild turkeys. Where do they live? What do they eat? How large do they grow?
6. Paint pretty leaves
Artsonia offers a wonderful technique for painting fall leaves using white tempera paint. Students paint the veiny side of the leaf with white paint, emphasizing positive and negative space. The background is sponge painted with white and blue, but left black around the leaves for contrast. They then colored their leaves in with colored pencils.
7. Papier maché portly pumpkins
Hollowing out real pumpkins can be a huge mess. And besides, they don’t last too long. Students can take their papier maché pumpkins home to display for the entire season. These pumpkins are extremely inexpensive to make, and are made up of supplies like newspaper, water, flour, salt and balloons. You can draw “spooky” faces on your pumpkin to turn it into a jack-o-lantern.
Pop quiz: where did the first jack-o-lantern come from?
8. Capture wild leaf animals
As you know, it’s fall, and there’s plenty of fallen leaves to go around. In your next biology lesson, have your students pick their favorite animal. Each student can give a short presentation on each animal they choose, including its habitat, lifespan, diet, and weight. Then, students can create an image of their animal using leaves that they found together as a class. Simply glue the leaves to paper to create your animals.
9. Why do some leaves change colors?
Fall is the perfect time to give a lesson on photosynthesis. You can find tons of sites dedicated to clickable images of fall foliage. Or, you can do it the old fashioned way and take a trip to a park or arboretum to collect and take photos of the different kinds of leaves. See which student can collect, photograph and identify the most variety of leaves.
Why do some leaves change color in the fall? Your class guess the reasons why and discuss their theories. Visit Simply Science for an explanation and some cool experiments, using inexpensive household items like rubbing alcohol.
10. Cast your own clay leaf bowls
This beautiful project is actually much easier than it looks. Take your class outdoors to choose various sized green, flexible leaves. The bigger and ornate the veining on the leaves, the more interesting your bowls will be. To create the autumn leaf bowls, simply roll out your clay. Press the leaves onto the top of the clay and cut the clay into the leaf pattern. Remove the leaf and put your new leaf-shaped, textured clay mold into a bowl to create its shape. Now it’s time for the kiln. If you don’t have one, air-drying clay and varnish will work.
While your class is making their bowls, have them identify the leaves they chose. What type of tree is it? Which types of foliage, insects, birds or mammals are housed in this tree?
Do you or your students have any fall creations that you want to share with a global community? Sign up for your free account at Creatubbles.
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