We don’t do a lot of holiday activities at our school. We have adapted a lot of things so they are more fall oriented than holiday oriented. I was just thinking about making and linking up a fun little project that I have done for a couple years.
My wonderful colleague created an art and writing activity around Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and Look What I Did with a Leaf by Morteza E. Sohi . Over the years I have expanded the activity and I use the books as a way to develop writing narratives with students.
First, I have the students collect leave from home or bring them in myself. We spend a lot of time observing and sorting the leaves. I will have pairs of kids sort their leaves and leave them out for students to do a gallery walk – they walk around the room and try to figure out the rule to the pattern sort. We press the leaves in old basals and dictionaries in the room. I usually do this over Columbus weekend so they have a bit more time to dry.
Then I read Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and Look What I Did with a Leaf by Morteza E. Sohi and we brainstorm a list of animals we could make with leaves. I really point out how the artists used different sizes and shapes of leaves. I have the students fold a paper into 4 parts and illustrate and label 4 animals they would like to make using leaves a body parts. They do well just getting general shapes.
Next is the fun part! We pull out all the leaves and choose the leaves for each student to build one animal. I have the students use liquid glue. Last year, the leaves all fell apart in the kids’ portfolios. My friend laminated hers. I really don’t like laminating if I don’t REALLY have to, so I think I will make color copies and send the original home.
The San Diego Zoo has a great example. Check out the link:
(image from San Diego Zoo: http://kids.sandiegozoo.org/activities/leafy-animal)
Then students choose one animal and show the students how to tell a story across their fingers. I hold up three fingers and point to each finger as I rehearse my story. I think I will try having students share their oral story with a partner this year. Then the make a storyboard with the beginning, middle, and end of their story. I model this before turning it over to them. Then they have time to write their story, again I model this and they write their story, using the leave picture as their “illustration.”
I made some printables tonight for my lesson next week. I hope someone finds this useful. Click on the image below to grab your copy.