Sunday, July 12, 2015

2nd Colorful Leaves

2nd Grade: Colorful Fall Leaves

I discovered this colorful project here: at Art Rocks!

This is a great project to review warm/cool colors with students. It's also great for teaching organic lines and patterns. Students watched a brief video about the 10 major leaf shapes. There are many more shapes than 10, but I believe there are 10 basic ones that the others stem from (no pun intended!) I think it would of been even more fun to go outside and collect leaves, but not many fallen leaves around outside to collect. However, if you have the opportunity to collect real leaves, it does make the project come to life even more I'm sure. 
I learned quick in teaching this lesson, that a leaf template is pretty much a necessity. For the 1st class, I did a step-by-step leaf drawing. But this is time consuming and very challenging. I think dino fossils were easier to draw than leaves for students! So for subsequent classes, I had students trace pre-made leaf templates. About 6 shapes were available. I find it easy to make templates from cardstock. I can cut a few templates at once. Students chose 2 leaves and traced each onto a piece of white cardstock. I told them to slant the leaves a bit (it looks more natural). Students then trace each leaf with a warm colored oil pastel. The next step, is to draw contour lines around each leaf with cool oil pastels. I demonstrated this on the white board. The hardest part for students is to figure out the dreaded "middle area" between the 2 leaves. If students completely trace one leaf, then the next, it's easier. Similar to students at the Art Rocks! blog, a few of my students REALLY wanted to "break the rule" a bit and use warm colored oil pastel for the contour drawing. I tried not to micro-manage this as I think many times, it actually looks o.k. My main thing is making sure students understand the concept of warm vs. cool colors. If they have a good understanding of that, and they want to experiment, this is a good project to do that. I think this was a fun project for students and something I look forward to doing again.