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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Super Easy Fall Leaf Art Activity

I love Fall.  Here in Arizona, Autumn holds the promise of temperatures under 100 degrees!  Cooler mornings, a few changing leaves, and the ability to wear something other than shorts and t-shirts is a real treat for us.

Because we have more cactus than trees, we don't usually get to enjoy the rich colors of fall.  That said, I do love to introduce the children to this season through a variety picture books.

"With illustrations made from actual fall leaves and die-cut pages on every spread that reveal gorgeous landscape vistas, here is a playful, whimsical, and evocative book that celebrates the natural world and the rich imaginative life of children"  (Amazon)

"As the leaves fall from his favorite tree, Fletcher worries that something is terribly wrong. But then winter comes, and with it a wonderful surprise.
Do you know what it is? Join Fletcher and find out. . . ."  (Amazon)

"There are lots of beautiful fall leaves to find! Three friends have a big adventure hiking over a mountain and through a forest to collect leaves of all kinds and colors. What will they do with all their leaves at the end of the story? Jump and play in them, of course!  With easy rhyming text and fun sound effects, children will delight in this rollicking autumn story."  (Amazon)

These books are a perfect introduction to the beautiful colors of Autumn leaves.   An Autumn Leaves Art Project is a perfect follow up.  I've got a no fail, easy to create project that uses materials you've already got in your classroom.  No extra expense!

What I like most about this project is that each child's leaf is unique and beautiful.  I also appreciate the small motor skill development practiced in this project.  Younger children can NEVER have too much practice with tracing and cutting.  It's also amazing how many little ones have to practice before they get the spray bottle to work. 

Supplies needed:
  • Water-based markers (brown, green, yellow, red, orange) 
  • Old file folders (I got mine from an office that was happy to get rid of them)
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Leaf templates 
Pre-Activity Notes:
  • Cover the work space with newspaper.  
  • Copy leaf patterns onto heavy scrapbook paper or file folder sheets.  Cut out and laminate.  These will be the patterns the children will trace.  

Step 1:  Cut the files folders in half (diagonally).  Give each child a file folder page.

Step 2:  Have the children fill the front of the page with the variety of colors.  Discourage the children from layering the colors.  Model filling up page with the colors side-by-side.

Step 3:  Once the page is covered with the colors, allow the children to lightly spray the page with water.  Have them carefully pick up the paper and shake it slightly (until the colors run).

Step 4:  Wait for the paper to dry.  Have the children fold the paper in half and trace a leaf pattern.    This is a great time to talk about symmetry.

Step 5:  Cut out the leaves.  Using a  black marker have the children draw in the veins.  Hang them around the room or use them with the writing prompt.  Remember, for the VERY little ones, you can always take dictation when using the writing prompt.

Pick up the complete file with directions and patterns by clicking here. (It's a FREEBIE)  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat: Clip Art

Do you use the book There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat during the month of October?  It is a darling picture book and provides a fun way to teach ordinal numbers, sequencing, cause and effect, and general writing traits.

I like my writing prompt images to "kind-of" match the images in the story we are referencing.  It helps the children with recall.  Here is a set of clip art images to be used in all your There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat activities.

The images are 300 dip, transparent png. files.  They will size up and down without losing any clarity.   This will allow me to size up the black and white line art images, print them out for the students to use as coloring pages, and then work in teams to create sequential mobiles.

Can't wait to see them hanging from the classroom ceiling!

Click here to head over to TPT for this clip art set
Click here to head over to TPT for this clip art set.  

The 16 images include:

Old lady (colored and black line)
Bat (colored and black line)
Owl (colored and black line)
Cat (colored and black line)
Ghost (colored and black line)
Goblin (colored and black line)
Bones (colored and black line)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Porcupine/Hedgehog Clip Art Freebie

Enjoy the HILARIOUS book A Porcupine Named Fluffy by Lynn Munsinger.  The story is adorable and the images are a hoot!  Better yet, is the thought-provoking discussion that you can have with your students about self-acceptance.

Here's what Publishers Weekly has to say about the book:


From Publishers Weekly
Should Mr. and Mrs. Porcupine name their baby Lance? Needleroozer? Quillian? Perhaps they should, but they don't. Instead they decide on the unlikely name of Fluffy. Fluffy's name is a source of sorrow to the sharp-quilled youngster, until he meets and befriends a rhinoceros named . . . Hippo! Munsinger's bright, cheery pictures are as whimsical as Lester's delightfully silly text. Together, they create nicely absurd images, such as a scene in which Fluffy and Hippo roll on the ground, laughing so hard that they start to cry. Lester and Munsinger who have collaborated on other picture books tell a sweet story with joyful exuberance.

In the event you want to create some follow-up activities, I have made some porcupine/hedgehog clip art that you are welcome to use!
Click here to head over to TPT for the clip art freebie.