This is a lovely fall lesson I tried for the first time. The ones that turned out were really nice but I will say it was a super challenging project for my Grade 4-6 class. It had mixed and unpredictable results and I'm not sure I will teach it again as alot of kids got really frustrated and I wasn't able to really help. It's a really good 'process over product' type of art project! haha
So kids collected leaves outside. Then they did an observational line/contour drawing of it on regular copy paper. They cut it out, put it on a piece of printing styrofoam and traced over the outline and veins using a ball point pen. This makes incised lines onto the styro. They can go over the lines again using a dull pencil to make the grooves deeper.
Then, they colour the leaf using waterbased markers (Crayola, Mr. Sketch, etc). Then, using a slightly damp sponge to make their printing paper damp. Then immediately press the styro onto the paper. This is where most kids struggled- knowing how damp to make the paper- too damp and the marker bleeds and you don't get a crisp print- too little water and you get a really dry, patchy looking print. It was frustrating for sure and took alot of practice!! When it does work, it's super exciting and satisfying, haha!
Students filled the paper with as many prints as they could. Let these dry overnight.
The styrofoam plates can just be rinsed in the sink and left to dry and used again the next class.
The next class, students cut out their leaves, arranged them onto black paper in a pleasing composition and glued them down.
Some Grade 4 - 6 results: