Miss G's Aussie Kindergarten
Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves
Collect a variety of autumn leaves.  The ones I used were from an orchard.  Try to find leaves that vary in colour eg red, brown, yellow, orange and also try to find leaves that are still green but are beginning to change colour.  These leaves can be put out on a display table and encourage children to talk about colours, textures, shapes etc of the leaves.  If you are fortunate enough to have your school in an area where many autumn trees are available, take the children for a walk so that they can help collect the leaves.

As an activity, provide black card for the children to glue leaves onto as seen in the picture to the left.
Fall Leaf Windows
Leaf Windows
An alternative is to cut out squares of plastic adhesive (like the type used for covering books).  Blu-tac the adhesive to a table with the sticky side facing up and allow the children to stick leaves onto the adhesive.  Your pieces of adhesive need to be long enough so you can fold the adhesive over to cover the leaves.  Displayed on a window with the sun shining through, these look very affective.
Autumn Tree
Provide autumn coloured finger paints for children to explore texture and talk about the colours of leaves in Autumn.  Press paper onto each finger-painting area when each child is finished.  When the print is dry, provide different leaf shaped templates for the children to trace and then cut around.  These leaves can be used to decorate an Autumn tree.  Trace and cut out a large trunk and as a small group activity encourage children to fingerpaint on the trunk with black and brown paint.  Another  large piece of paper can also be fingerpainted on with these colours,  and roots and brancehs can be cut from this.  To make the trunk look textured, provide small pieces of black and brown paper for the children to glue on.  To make a Winter Tree simply remove the leaves to make the tree bare.  Click here to see a Spring Tree

Nature Walk
If you have a park nearby, take the children on a nature walk to look at trees.  Talk about parts of the tree eg leaves, trunk, branches, roots and their function.  Look at varied trees if possible and compare, shapes, bark, leaves and seed pods.  Encourage the children to collect bark, leaves, seeds, grasses and use them at a later stage for gluing onto card or for use in wood sculptures.  To make wood sculptures, the children glue the collected materials onto varied wood shapes which you can get from pine furniture stores or other stores that make wood furniture and sculptures.  Many of these outlets are willing to give away wood offcuts.

For portfolios, take pictures during the walk and a picture of the child's nature sculpture.  Record their thoughts about the walk and about their sculpture and include in the portfolio.
Fingerprint Trees
Draw  a tree shape onto paper and photocopy.  Prior to the activity provide pictures of Autumn trees for the children to look at.  Discuss how leaves fall from the branches to ground as they change colour and die.  Demonstrate to the children how to fingerprint leaves using Autumn colours poured onto sponges.  Encourage the children to try fingerprinting leaves on the brances, falling from the tree and on the ground around the tree.  The children really enjoy this activity.

For portfolios, include a descriptor sheet describing the activity and the learning taking place. Record children's understanding of why leaves fall from trees.
Not a good pic but you get the idea
Fall Fingerprint Trees
Autumn Theme Window
A window painted with an Autumn theme
Autumn Tree
Handprint Autumn Tree
An Autumn tree made with a combination of fingerpainted leaves and children's handprints
Nature Walk
A table set up for gluing with wood and natural materials
Autumn Trees
Mini Autumn Trees
We completed this activity after much discussion about how the leaves change colours and fall from the trees in autumn.  We pre-cut trunk shapes from brown card and varied leaf shapes from coloured paper.  The children's task was to glue the trunk onto card and then to glue the leaves so as to represent the leaves from falling from the tree as they do in Autumn.

For portfolios, include a descriptor sheet describing the activity and the learning taking place. Record children's understanding of why leaves fall from trees.
Autumn Display Board
Mini Autumn Trees
Autumn Collage
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Fall Display Board
Fall Bulletin Board
A fun bulletin board idea for "Fall" is to take photos of your students outside in various poses.  Have an idea ahead of time as to how you might like your bulletin board to look as this will help you figure out the poses e.g. if you think you might like to have a child leaning on a tree, have a child do that for the pic so that you get the best poses for your board.  For this one we posed as if we were throwing leaves, leaning on a tree, collecting leaves etc.When all the photos are done, enalrge them to 8.5 x 11 (or A4) on your computer, print them and cut them out.  Design your board and place your photos where desired.  My students helped glue on the tissue paper autumn leaves.  Using real photos of the students this way is always very meaningful and is guaranteed to draw attention to your display.
Autumn Collage
Make an autumn collage by firstly gluing large pieces of tissue paper completely over a piece of cardstock.  While this is drying, take the opportunity to study different leaf shapes.  You could use real leaves or pictures of leaves.  I had my gr 1-3 students practice drawing leaves on a piece of white paper so they had an opportunity to experiment with drawing leaf shapes.  When the tissue paper was completely dry, we used thin paint brushes and black paint to paint on the leaf shapes we had learnt about.  For portfolios, include a descriptor sheet describing the activity and the learning taking place e.g. creativity, shapes in nature, fine motor skills, names of leaves, spatial awareness etc
Autumn Leaf Grid Design
Leaf Grid Designs
This activity was done by older children (gr 1-3) but could be adapted for younger children.  Firstly, I had a variety of simple leaf templates.  The students had to choose 2 or 3 to trace onto grid paper.  This is 1cm grid paper - younger students could use a larger grid type.  The students then colored in each square of the leaf - I did not specify that they had to do a pattern but I did specify that they had to use fall colors for the leaf such as reds, golds, browns etc.  This child happened to choose a pattern design but not all children did.  When the leaf designs were complete, the child used watercolors (in fall colors) to paint the background.  Our grid paper had an edge to it so we painted it black to look like a frame.  The coloring is time consuming so allow several days.  For younger children one large leaf is probably enough for them to color in.  Wax crayons would also have a nice "resist" effect to them.

For portfolios, include a descriptor sheet describing the activity and the
learning taking place e.g. creativity, shapes in nature, fine motor skills, geometry,
patterns, spatial awareness etc
Fall Handprint Tree Painting

Handprint Tree on Canvas
As a variation of the autumn tree I had done with children's handprints above, you could make an autumn tree directly onto a large canvas.  For this tree, the students used their fingerprints for the trunk of the tree, and then their handprints were used to create the leaves.  Each student's name was written onto their handprint.  This would make a nice piece of art for a wall.  This piece was actually auctioned at a fundraising event.  There was fierce competition between the parents to score this coveted painting, so a great deal of funds were raised!  Thanks to Kristy at MMS for this pic.
Fingerpainting Fall
Fingerpainting Fall
Fingerpainting with autumn colors is a lot of fun and can be used for many purposes.  My students in Canada were stunned to learn that I would have them fingerpaint directly onto a table!!!  But this really allows them to move the paint around, and to experiment with texture and design by using their whole hand and their fingernails (impossible on paper).  It also allows them to easily blend paints. After they have  finished their design we take a print (monoprint) by pressing paper onto the design. Once the prints are dry, use them  to cut out leaves for an autumn tree or cut out leaves and hang them from the ceiling.
AUTUMN LESSON IDEAS
Miss G's Aussie Kindergarten
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Fall Tree Painting
Fall Tree Painting
Encourage your students to use their artistic skills to paint autumn trees.  Observe the shapes of tress and their branches.  Look at leaves on and around the tree for inspiration! For portfolios, ask the children to talk about their painting, what is happening to the tree and why and record their conversation.
This page was last updated on: May 29, 2013
Portfolio Activity
Individual Hand Print Fall Tree
Paint each child's forearm and wrist to create a tree shape, encouraging children to spread their fingers wide to create the branches.  When dry, have the children tear strips from fall coloured tissue paper and glue on for leaves.  Ask the children to describe how it felt to have their hands painted and record their ideas about autumn.  Record the children's language for their portfolio and include it with the activity
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Season Trees
Paint trees for each of the seasons on small canvasses.  For this activity, click here.
Portfolio Activity