Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall-Inspired Creations

It's that time of year!  I enjoy fall projects.  I love the colors, shapes, and other elements we visit when creating the student's projects.  I try my best to make all fall-inpired projects unrelated to Halloween.  With such a diverse community in our school, I try to create projects that are fun and inspiring, with room to create Halloween decorations if the student wishes.  Here are some of the projects I've done in the past and a few I've done this year:

1st Grade: Fall Leaves

Yes, it's a Pinterest idea.  When I saw an example of how to use clear ziploc bags to create a fall leaf snowglobe effect, I was exstatic!  You start with a light blue and brown paper cut 12" x 12."  I demonstrated how to fold the brown paper to cut a rectangle out, which made the frame.  Students then glued tree tops and grass, then glued down little colored pieces for the fall leaves.  The project was topped off with a little person colored and cut out!

1st Grade: Color-Changing Leaves

I start by sharing leave I have found with different colors, like green changing to yellow and red.  The students love to see the leaves up close, and they do say they don't take the time to look at the leaves since they're busy crunching them below their feet!  I use this project to show how to color mix.  With focusing on one set of complimentary colors, students enjoy watching the paint change colors after drawing their football-shaped leaves.  Tempura cake trays are best with cart-pushing and storage.

Kindergarten: Fall Trees

I like to question the students about trees!  I ask the students what parts of the trees were, as well as how the branches just reach anywhere they wish on the top on the tree.  I show the students how to just the strips for branches, and even how to tear the strips to have more fun.  The hardest part is making a bunch of fall colors leaf squares.  I spend some spare time before/after school at the paper cutter and trim enough pieces to last at least two years.  Even though it doesn't show it in this example, I like to ask the students to create a cubby hole in the tree and to draw the animal that's preparing to hibernate.

Kindergarten: Texture Pumpkins
This project was created to introduce the element of texture to my kindergarten students.  I start by showing the students a pumpkin!  I bring in the small baby pumpkins to pass around, and I ask the students if the pumpkin is soft or hard, smooth or bumpy, warm or cold.  After discussing texture, I show the students how to create their own textures on a pumpkin picture with the use of texture plates.  To save on students fighting over certain textures, I pass out a set of plates for each table.  Make sure you explain to the students how they need to color in the entire picture, as well as moving the texture plate over to complete the entire sky or grass!  This simple project was also created with 11 x 17 paper, which was run through a copy machine.  Over 100 copies of my hand-drawn pumpkins for my kiddos!

Choose to create with or without faces!

1st Grade: 3-Dimensional Pumpkins
This project is awesome, except you need to be on your toes with the class.  I have pre-cut strips of orange paper, and give the students four pieces each.  I ask the students to glue two pieces together to make a plus sign, then two other pieces together to make an "x."  Next, I tell the students to glue the plus sign on top of the x to make a star.

After the star is made, I tell the students to take two opposite ends and make an octopus, then to glue each end to the top to create the orange ball.  After the ball is complete, the students have the option to make a pumpkin face and add stems and leaves on the top.

3rd Grade: Pumpkin Patch
This assemblage project is my introduction to the grounds: back, middle, and foreground.  We talk about gluing the background first, starting with the grass line and moon/stars (daytime pictures are an option).  Next, the students design their own fence.  I get a wide range of fences with this project, some with gates open, and some with a  complete fence across the paper.  After the middle ground, the pumpkins are glued to the front, along with yarn vines and multiple leaves.  I ask the students to create three different pumpkin shapes: big, medium, and small to show distance in the pumpkin patch.

4th Grade: Pumpkin Farm
I like to re-visit the perspective idea with 4th grade.  It helps remind them of the grounds, as well as how to create the perspective.  Pumpkins are also easy shapes to draw, and painting is always fun!  I've seen this project done at the second grade level, yet in my school the students were not quite at the level to make something like this.  I show the students how to create the pumpkin circle large at the bottom of the paper, then how to shrink the circle smaller until the circles are time, which will show distance.  I also show the students the perspective house  I introduce watercolors at this level as well, and students practice their techniques working on this landscape.

Kindergarten: Fall Leaves
In this project, I introduce oil pastels and mixed media to the students.  I created leaf stencils from the die cuts in out school, and I've used the same set since my first year teaching.  I ask the students if they ever traced their own hand before, and they get excited when they tell me that they have!  I ask the students to trace at least 4 stencils, then they get fall color oil pastels to color in the leaves (mixing different colors each leaf).  I then have the students top it off with a blue wash for the sky.

6th Grade: Value Pumpkins
I haven't done this project in awhile since I changed the 6th grade curriculum to follow social studies (art history) but I used to buy a pumpkin just for this project!  I would have the lamp on the side of the pumpkin while the students drew from whatever corner of the room they were sitting.  I then taught how to crosshatch for texture, as well as using colors to show light and shadow.  Maybe I should bring this one back...

2nd Grade: 3-Dimensional Fall Trees
Paper sculptures!!!!  I love showing the students how to create a 3-D tree with paper.  I show them how to make a base (two-layered for stability), the how to fold the ends to make roots to glue to the ground.  The students then glue a green top on all the sides, then tissue paper the leaves.  I've had some creative mini ideas from students in this one, from raking a pile of leaves to making pumpkins on the board!

For more fall project ideas, please visit my Pinterest Fall-Inspired Projects Board!

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