Autumn Leaves: A New Project

Are you coming Mummy? The leaves are really beautiful, we can run in them” – Jack

img 4193 Autumn Leaves: A New ProjectWell it seems that Jack may have found a new fascination; autumn leaves. Could you really blame him though? They are simply gorgeous. We take an afternoon walk most days and the trees around our neighbourhood are spectacular; fiery red, bright yellow, lime green and every shade in between.

img 4195 Autumn Leaves: A New Projectimg 4185 Autumn Leaves: A New ProjectWe’ve been talking a lot about the leaves, how they seem to be so colourful, how they are ordinarily green as well as how the weather is becoming colder. I’ve taught Jack about deciduous trees and he is able to, in simple terms, explain what this means; “The leaves are yellow and brown and when it’s windy they fall off.”

Our projects usually start this way. Something captures his attention and as we talk about it more this interest grows. So, I thought I would put out a provocation for him and see if he was interested in exploring further. We have quite a few autumn leaves at home at the moment so I went through them to see if I could find a nice sequence of leaves that showed the gradual change in colour from soft and green to crunchy and brown. I organised them on his light panel with his magnifying glass.

img 4196 Autumn Leaves: A New Projectimg 4200 Autumn Leaves: A New ProjectJack likes using his magnifying glass and enjoyed talking about the changing colours; “This one is green and then it’s yellow and now it’s brown and it’s on the ground.” 

img 4208 Autumn Leaves: A New ProjectWe used some oil pastels to make leaf rubbings. I like using the oil pastels over crayons; they are smooth and vibrant. Reggio really emphasises the use of authentic art materials as a way for children to express their thoughts and understandings. In doing the leaf rubbings, Jack was able to recognise the veins from his previous study on the light panel. Here is a couple of Jack’s leaf rubbings, and one of Sarah’s drawings too.

img 4215 Autumn Leaves: A New Project

‘Look mummy, I can see a leaf’.

img 4216 Autumn Leaves: A New Project

‘This leaf’s like fire. It’s very hot. It’s on the ground’.

img 4213 Autumn Leaves: A New Project

Sarah’s 1st Oil Pastel Drawing

I am thinking about putting some clay out tomorrow along with some of the leaves and seeing if he is interested in doing some prints or maybe using some tools to sculpt some leaves. I have some other ideas, looking at how leaves decompose, looking at worms and snails and other composting animals, talking about why trees drop their leaves, but with Reggio, it’s important to follow Jack’s lead, and through discussion and observation, pursue his interests. So we’ll have to see what we do next. But I think it’s a good start to a very interesting project.


9 thoughts on “Autumn Leaves: A New Project

  1. What a neat idea, and I’m sure Jack just loved it! I wish it was autumn here since it’s my favorite season, but instead it’s summer. Though that means a break from college for me, I’d much rather be enjoying chilly fall days instead of hot, humid summer ones.

  2. I love your idea of using the leaves on the light box. I have thought about getting a light box but haven’t been sure how we would use it. I’ll keep this idea filed away!

  3. Did the oil pastels work better than crayon? We find oil pastels much messier, and Otis snaps them. What would you suggest for bark rubbings?

    • I think they did work better. Our crayons aren’t very vibrant. We just have crayola ones though. Yours might work better. The oil pastels went on smoothly and easily. The leaf pattern came through really quickly without too much effort. They didn’t really get particularly messy. I think your crayons would work best with bark rubbings. Bark rubbings can be a little tricky to get a good impression. The oil pastels would probably snap like you said. Give it a go. They are fun. Great for making little curator cards for tree recognition.

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