Integrate science and art with this simple art activity that focuses on shape and color. Students trace overlapping leaf shapes - or draw them themselves - and watercolor the resulting shapes. Colors can be chosen to reflect fall or spring colors.
This activity can be made more complex with the addition of a focus on overall composition or by adding textured or patterned features in the shapes created by overlapping shapes.
Include this art lesson in a science unit about plants or in lessons about fall, seasons, or living things.
Leaf Shapes is coupled with a leaf observation drawing lesson in Art Lessons with Autumn Leaves.
This lesson includes the following:
- a list of art concepts and skills addressed
- national visual arts standards information
- a list of materials needed
- targeted art and related vocabulary
- suggested read-alouds
- detailed steps for introducing the lesson
- ideas for observing leaves
- directions for art-making
- ideas for extending or varying the lesson
- ideas for looking at and discussing art
- suggestions for art extensions
- photographs of student art work for reference
Also Included: an ‘art reflection’ worksheet with prompts to help students assess their own art work.
This art lesson is designed to teach art appreciation, artist behavior, and art analysis, and to foster authentic art-making and art education.
National Core Visual Arts Standards are listed at the beginning of the lesson.
Because I teach in California, this lesson also includes a list of the California Visual Arts Standards addressed for suggested grade levels. Please note that listed grade levels are suggestions only; any of these lessons can be simplified or made more complex to work for any elementary grade.
More observation drawing lessons:
Still Life for Kids.
Drawing Patterns from Nature.
Additional art-making ideas and suggestions:
Five Super Easy Art Lessons
- art lessons with minimal prep
Integrating Art Across the Curriculum Sampler Bundle
- a collection of five integrated Art lessons
Art Task Cards
-- for early finishers or art centers
Need art lessons to last an entire school year?
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I am a retired elementary classroom teacher, a former art teacher, an artist and a writer. I have a Multiple Subjects credential, a Single Subject credential for Art and English, LDS/ESL certification, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a Mathematics focus, and Montessori certification. I have worked with all elementary grades, and with special groups including ELL, GATE, and At-Risk students. Creating Art With Kids
lessons and resources are designed to foster student creativity, choice, and independence, and to encourage authentic art-making. Consideration is given to developmental appropriateness, differentiation possibilities, and teacher individuality. For this reason, directions are general, expectations are open-ended, and clip art on student pages is kept to a minimum.
Ways to connect with me:
Blog: Creating Art With Kids
Facebook: Creating Art With Kids
Pinterest: Renee Goularte
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