Going Green, Brown, Red, Yellow, etc.


Objective: To create a fun poem and art project using dried and pressed leaves.

Materials: Leaves, paper, glue, drawing and writing materials

This past month our group of teachers created a fun poem and art activity using dried and pressed leaves.  My team partner had a fabulous book by Morteza E. Sohi called, Look What I Did with a Leaf which illustrated how to create animals and other inspirations with pressed leaves.  If you don't already have this one, it is a fabulous book that I would suggest purchasing. 

Plus, this time of the year, Mother Nature turns the leaves from green into browns, reds, yellows, oranges, and various hues of gold.  So, the homework my students had was to go collect and press leaves. {not bad if you ask me, and a very "green" assignment}


First, I decided to show my students how to create a cinquain poem.  This is a very non-threatening form of poetry.  It has a basic form and all people can feel success with it.  When you say poetry, most kids cringe.  But I find if you teach how to read poetry and give kids great poems, they will grow to love (or at least appreciate) them.  I always try to use poems that are funny, edgy, or even a bit kooky (yes, I am well aware of how kooky I am). 

This year, I wanted to focus on being not just a teacher when kids create art, but a student as well {that sounds so cliche and kunfu-ish...but, there it is!}   So, I have made a concerted effort to create art with them and not ahead of time.  This means that all those butt-kicking moments of teaching classroom management in the beginning of the year, will result in a fully productive classroom setting for the months to come. 


So, as soon as we went over the tasks they were to complete, I tore them loose to create their leaf art project with cinquain poem, while I too began my own creation.  After a couple of minutes I circulated around the room and stopped in to visit with students about their pieces.  I thought it was interesting to see how each individual attempts an art project:  some {um, me} dive in and then plan as we go along, while others sit quietly waiting for inspiration to come while being oh so careful before they even begin.  Thankfully, the Muse was in the room: all students were able to create a piece and work on their poem. 

In the end, it was a great activity and the kids really enjoyed it.  oh yeah, what did I make? I made the reindeer named Vixen and the corresponding cinquain poem.  I simply just love Christmas and the signal of Fall gets me nostalgic for the holidays {look forward to future posts for Christmas.}


I would like to leaf you with a poetic quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge: "The one red leaf, the last of its clan, That dances as often as dance it can, Hanging so light, and hanging so high, On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky."

Written by My Art to Inspire Guest Contributor: Shirini