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Lesson Plans

trees/leaves/seasons - looooong

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sears, Ellen (
Mon, 20 Oct 1997 10:57:55 -0400

One of our K-1 teachers laminated a four foot length of a leaf
collection and boxed it up with some dried leaves and sent it to her old
school for an 'instant fall'... put the laminated sheet in a window and
scatter leaves on floor.... Here are some leaf/tree/outside projects: Next week our 7th grade sciences classes (45 kids) and my husband's K-1
class (18) will be going on a field trip together. The science teacher
has 250 acres a couple of counties away from here, and we are starting a
long term (years) project with the kids. The land was once a farm and
we will be working with the state forestry division to 'reclaim' the
land. Change over time (one hour, one day, years...) is a theme we will
be working on. Some of the activities that we will be working on that I am helping with
are: Setting up easels and cameras to record a scene during the day. The
students will take turns drawing/painting. Using the "One Small Square" book series idea to record a small patch of
land. To ensure random selection, a student will toss a hula hoop over
their shoulder, where it lands is where they will draw. (We are
thinking about 3 or 4 students to a hoop to compare different vantage
points - sorting and grouping the drawings at a later date.) Identifying different birds, studying them and producing a wood carving.
The younger students will be using the bird's silhouette to create a
folk sculpture based on the work of Louisville's Marvin Finn. (Over the
next few years we will concentrate on insects, organisms....) Placing students at regular intervals to record sights, sounds... for 20
minutes - combine for the whole picture. Collections of natural grasses for masks, weavings... Making a 'museum on wheels' and a 'changeable quilt' based on ideas from
the book 'Design Synectics' pp. 37 and 89. (This book was mentioned in
another post - I use it a lot with K-8) We are also studying the work of Andy Goldsworthy and Christo. I would like to make a topographical map of a student's face... death
mask to clay? I sent these ideas to Neal when he first asked. I posted them last year
For this first project I had a group of parents come in and I set up
different stations for each paper technique. Every child prepared their
papers in 1 hour. The classroom teacher had the collage materials in
the room to finish. Parent volunteers assembled the books with the
children. I worked with a class on a bookmaking project to go with their science class. They were studying woods, and we created several papers to go with
the different parts of the woods. Bubble print for sky, straw paintings for branches, wood rubbings for bark, finger paintings for the tree's growth rings, sponge paintings for lichens, handmade paper (with coffee
grounds...) for the soil, tissue collage for leaf litter... Then I had a collection
of fabric and notions (sequin ribbons, pipe cleaners, wire, sculpey clay, vinyl, burlap, tissue paper...) the students had to make the organisms to
fit in the corresponding part of the tree, they had to pick the material used for the animal based on the attributes or characteristics of that animal. (Pipe cleaners for woolly worms, sequined ribbon for snakes - the
scales...)The book was put together so that it opened radially (I guess
this is a way to explain it) It opened like a spiral going into the tree. They
wrote about each stage of the book on the last opened page. I liked the final project. I did this with a class of K-1's, but it could be used for
any age. Fabric piecing (also with parents at each station in the room): 1. Last year we printed leaves, after rolling the ink on the leaf, we
continued onto another piece of fabric to pick up the 'negative' image. 2. We also pounded leaves (rubber mallet, hammers) onto fabric squares.
This left an imprint on the fabric. (Dry leaves really don't work as
well - but experiment, it is different with each species) 3. The students also brought in leaves and drew them using KidPix. Then
we ran fabric through the printer. The four images were sewn together. Other: Roll leaves into clay, fire for tiles. (We rolled some on a long
rectangle of clay, fold over, stuff with paper, seal side edges and
punch two holes for a hanging vase.) Crayon rubbings for collages. Splatter painting using leaves for stencils. (I have also seen leaves
scattered on dark fabric and then sprayed with a bleach solution...) There is a way to create skeletons of the leaf to study the structure,
but I can't remember where I saw it. Hope this gets you started...