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Lesson Plans

Autumn leaves

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Kerin Allen (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 15:42:27 -0700

I was asked to do an 'autumn leaves' workshop for the 3rd grade
classroom. Being in the desert of Arizona, I had to do some research
into the local decidious trees in our higher elevations before I started
this one. However, instead of wax, I opted to marbilize the leaf
As usual, I only had about 1 hour/ 35 min. to do this so I made a
very brief intro into the name of our trees showing them the leaf
shapes. The kids cut their shape of choice out of a 9 x 12 sheet of
heavy paper, drawing the vein patterns in with heavy crayon lines
(couldn't resist a little resist!) I had 8 stations ready with broiler
pans ~1/3 full of liquid starch (thick blue stuff). Acrylic paint and
plastic forks were on a meat tray near by. Each kid drips the colors
on the starch and swirled GENTLY (do not stir) with the fork tines to
get that marbilized look. They dropped their leaf pattern on top,
counted to 5 and lifted it off by the stem. (They must let the starch
drip off for a second or two.) They put it on newspaper and carried it
to a floor covered with crinkled trash bags. The leaf patterns went
paint side down to dry overnight. The next student dripped his colors
and repeated the process. If they did not like the colors of the
previous student, they waited a second for those colors to descend into
the thick starch. The next day, the beautiful leaves showed the crinkle
effect AND the marblizing. Note: I poured the starch back in the
bottles rather than down the sink to be on the safe side!
** Warning: Extremely slimey** but has lovely results if they DO
NOT STIR the colors in the starch. The stirring blends the colors into
I have also used this in the Greek architecture workshop. We
marblized the pediments and columns to the students 'temples'. They
were placed on a masonite 'background' and the starch held them there
just like glue. Worked well in that capacity as well.
I wonder if I can buy liquid starch in bulk?? I may need to look
into that.

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