I wanted to give the children a new painting experience and came across the idea of painting leaves from the Crayola website. I put out some leaves, tempera, paint brushes and toothbrushes. The children couldn’t wait to get their hands dirty! They felt both sides of the leaves and noticed that one side felt “bumpy.” This led us to talking about the veins in the leaves and why leaves have veins. (Now might be a good time to put out some celery in food colouring to see what connections they make.) It also led to a discussion about the meaning of “texture.” Printing the leaf provided one texture. Stippling by running a finger along the toothbrush provided a different grainy texture. Hmm…veins, texture, stippling, bumpy, grainy, smooth….there’s a lot of new vocabulary here. I think this might be a good time for some shared writing! Maybe we’ll start by making a list of words describing the leaves, or autumn, or textures. Regardless of the list, our next writing experience will be meaningful all because we played with leaves, paint and toothbrushes.