February 22, 2018
by Beth Lemon

Lesson plan

Fall Leaf Patterns

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Grade Subject

Students will create patterns using objects found in nature. Then they will discuss what is seen in works of art made by others.

This art lesson corresponds to California Visual and Performing Arts Standards: 2.1 Create patterns and three-dimensional arrangements (using manipulatives or blocks). 4.1 Discuss what is seen in works of art. 4.4 Select works of art by others and tell what they like about them.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that today we will be doing art projects outside. We will take pictures of our projects but we won't be able to take them home.
  • Project pictures of Andy Goldworthy's fall leaves series.
  • Ask students what they see in Goldworthy's work. What patterns do they see? What colors? What shapes?
(5 minutes)
  • Walk with students outside. Have students sit in a circle around you.
  • Ask for student input on what kind of pattern you should make.
  • Start arranging leaves with purpose, narrating as you place them.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students make a big circle around you so you can create a second pattern/form.
  • Ask students to practice making a circle or square with leaves or sticks.
(10 minutes)
  • Give students explicit physical boundaries, then instruct students to begin searching for stones, leaves, and/or sticks.
  • Instruct students to begin making their patterns.
  • Walk around the area observing student progress.

Support: Students may benefit from working in partnerships.

Enrichment: Encourage students to create a second pattern using different materials, if time allows.

This lesson can be completed without the use of technology by using printed photos; however, technology such as a projector can be used to show examples before going outside.

(5 minutes)
  • Review student work as you walk around the area: Did students use found objects to create a pattern? Can they describe the pattern to you?
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to get in a line behind you as you lead them from art piece to art piece.
  • As you reach each piece, take a photo and have the artist explain the pattern.
  • Take a couple questions or comments from others.

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