One of our favorite activities this fall in our first grade lesson plans involved the book Leaf Man. Not only did it encompass English-Language Arts (ELA) by being a great read-aloud book, but it also was a great lead-in book for both science and art lessons.
We spent two days learning about why leaves change colors in the fall and creating unique projects. This book is a great way to introduce children to utilizing things around them in nature to make new things.
Activity 1: Build a Leaf Man
In the book Leaf Man, your students will see various creatures created out of leaves. In this activity, they’ll get the opportunity to build their own creatures out of leaves.
Take students on a trip outside to collect leaves, sticks, acorns, pine needles, and other things they can use to build their Leaf Man.
Then have students get creative making creatures out of the things they collected. This can be done back inside your classroom or outside on a fall day.
Activity 2: Create a Nature Tic-Tac-Toe Board
Go on a nature walk with your child and look for four sticks to make a tic-tac-toe board. The child should also look for 7-each of two different items that could be used as game pieces. We used acorns and pinecones for our tic-tac-toe game pieces. Encourage students to get creative. Other ideas for game pieces might includes small rocks, tiny twigs, or leaves.
Activity 3: Leaf Painting Project
After watching the “Why Do Leaves Change Color” video with your student(s), have them get creative by adding their own color to the leaves. Utilizing large leaves as a blank canvas, students can paint whatever they wish on them. You might also use this project to have students practice painting patterns (A-B or AA-BB) on their leaves. Finally, this project could be used to teach students how to blend colors (i.e. Yellow + Red = Orange) as they paint on leaves. The possibilities are truly endless. Because it involves painting and leaves, this is a great outdoor project to do with your student(s) on a beautiful fall day.