I love fall.  I don’t get to experience the Sacramento, California fall, and I haven’t for ten years now. I miss it. I live in a land of sand, where an occasional rain shower lasts a few drops, just enough to make the dust on the trees turn into mud.  The weather turns cool, down to a pleasant 85 degrees in the daytime, but colors never change. Seasonal differences are small, but I get so excited because they are changes. 

I make my own fall here.  I do this with my students.  We make fall trees and pumpkins. Second grade gets to make fall leaves.For this assignment, students had to do a lot. It always amazes me that the final piece doesn’t always reflect the amount of work that goes into it.  The process.

Here are some of the final results: img_5042


Here’s a brief list of everything we had to learn:

Draw leaves from observation (as an intro to getting to know our leaves)

Draw different kinds of leaves (maple, oak, aspen)

Learn the difference between warm and cool colors.  We did this by analyzing famous paintings and sticking post-it notes marked W, C, or N (neutral).  Then we discussed the mood of these paintings.  A nice introduction to some of these painted artworks and mood. IMG_6416

Draw overlapping shapes (leaves)

Blend paint effectively






As a bonus, we traced our pencil drawn leaves with Sharpee pens.  I showed students how to stipple dark spots and how to shade.  The kids loved it. We also drew holes in our leaves, made curves to show different stages of dying leaves, etc.  Great fun.

As a final project reflection, I asked the students to fill out a form to let me know how they feel about their work.  This invoked a great discussion in the class about craftsmanship.








Overall, students were happy with the final results.  They can’t wait to paint again.