more leaf inspirations

Last week we went on a leaf hunt. The children collected leaves of different shapes, sizes and colours. When we returned to our classroom, the children each took a leaf and described something they noticed. They discovered that some leaves have spots, some are droopy and others are “stinky”.  Using their words, we engaged in some shared writing.  As they took a closer look, the children also noticed that “leaves have lines.”  We are fortunate to have a light table, the leaves were placed on the light table for further exploration.  At first, the children sorted the leaves.  As a small group took a closer look, I revisited their idea that leaves have lines and encouraged them to trace their favourite leaf onto a piece of transparency.  This reminded me of some wonderful art work I had the opportunity to see at the Bishop Strachan School last year which inspired what follows.

Using the overhead projector, the leaf drawings were projected for the children.  Projecting their leaf drawings added yet another dimension to their experience with light, shadow, and their drawings.  As the children painted, more children became interested and were also inspired to trace a leaf.  Once their paintings dried, they added colour.  I was amazed at how much care even the younger children took as they painted.  We are now paying much closer attention to the lines we see in our environment.  I have a feeling this could be the inspiration for a line project!

2 thoughts on “more leaf inspirations

  1. I love the details they were able to pick up using the light table. You’ve inspired me – I made a small light box last month (shoe box, tin foil, led x-mas lights, voila!) and the kids love piling glass beads and gems, little glass jars and counters… but we pressed leaves a while back so I think it’s time to revisit the press and pull them out.
    I like mixing the media when the students are studying line. I have the students “make your own colouring page” by using crayons to make the shapes and lines, and then using water-colour paint to finish the colours. The crayon-resist technique makes the paint colours “pop!” and, like your leaf paintings above, the children put in many more details into their work when they focus on an element such as line or texture.

    • Making your own light box—you’ve inspired me too! Another thing I like about mixing media is that depending on the media, you might need drying time in between. I think this helps the children look at their work as more of a project and encourages them to plan and problem-solve as they create. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share!

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