Screening Leaves

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(I first have to apologize for the black spot in these photos.  My camera seems to have developed a cataract of some sort, but it’s actually already been resolved, thanks to a warranty and a husband who is a master at getting customer service.) 

If you’ve collected some great leaf samples in your classroom and are looking for more ways to use them, here’s an idea.  Create some leaf screens by hot gluing the leaves to a screen.   (I used the same type that is used in window screens.  Mine was scrap, but if you aren’t in good with your local window installer, you can find some at your local hardware store.)  Have the children place the screens on top of their papers with the leaf side down and then use toothbrushes to scrub paint on the screen side, just like they were brushing their teeth. 

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‘The paint will flick through the screen, creating an outline of the leaves with a burst effect.  Try with multiple colors to create something really spectacular!  Some children may want to try layering different leaf outlines with different colors of paint all on the same paper.  Of course, as with any activity that involves flicking paint, be sure to use smocks and have art rags handy!

This activity promotes motor skills as the children manipulate the art tools, as well as observation skills as they notice and compare the outlines of  the different types of leaves.  The art concept of negative space (design created by the absence of color) is also introduced.

For more favorite fall activities, click here!

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