Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall Leaf Stamping

Here in Florida we barely have a change of seasons from summer to winter. We don't have leaves that change to beautiful fall colors and fall off the trees, and we don't have crisp autumn air. Actually right now, the last day of September--- it's 90 degrees.

Ahhhh, welcome fall! I love to do this project on fall leaves, though, to demonstrate color scheme and printmaking all in one. My kindergartners love it and even my older kids reminisce once they see the rubber leaves come out. My fifth graders would do this over and over and over again if I let them...I think.

What you need:
Rubber stamping leaves (these are expensive, but non-consumable and have held up well for 10 years!)
Block tempera paints
Clothespin/sponge daubers (more on these in a minute!)
Brushes, water bowl, etc. for paint

Logistically, here is how I work it: I have 9 tables in my room. Each table has a colored piece of paper on it: one red, one yellow, one orange, repeat. When students sit at their tables they are ONLY allowed to use the color that is on their table. In the photo above, you see a yellow piece of paper on their table. Lookie there! She is using yellow paint. She has to paint and stamp 3 yellow leves.

After about 5-7 minutes to paint and stamp their 3 leaves (my classes are 55 minutes each) I have them move to the next color table. Three times moving and they have 9 leaves on their paper, three of each yellow, orange, and red. Yes, the kids are moving around the room, but it is VERY orderly, and it keeps paint colors from getting mixed!

To fill the negative space, I give the kids one of my inexpensive sponge daubers. I made these from scratch after washing 178,735 grubby kindergarten fingers when they freaked out about getting brown paint on their fingers!
I took old wooden clothepins and put a small 1/2"x1/2" kitchen sponge and put it in there. The kids get it "a little" wet and then use the brown tempera paint. The only part they are allowed to touch is the clothespin---and hands stay virtually clean! The only thing I have to worry about with the kids on this one is that they "brush" the sponge (like a paintbrush) instead of daub (up and down, up and down) to fill the negative space with brown.

And VOILA! A fun, easy, one-day project the kids love...and parents adore for their fall decor!
Happy creating!

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