1-2-3 Do An Awesome Autumn Activity With Me!
Because my Y5's needed to strengthen their finger muscles, I tried to think of interesting and fun ways to help them do that. Peeling and sharpening crayons, and then pinching clumps of shavings and sprinkling them on the print of a tree, provided excellent practice; the completed projects looked truly outstanding!
I'd introduce autumn with a variety of books. After reading a few, we'd have a discussion about the various colors that leaves turn, and why they do so, (chlorophyll was a brand new vocabulary word for all of them).
They'd transition to some table top activities, and while they were busy, I called students up individually to make their creation with me or a room helper. Students could also be peeling their old crayons at this time as well.
I've included 7 different trees with bare branches for you to choose from, or run off a selection on white construction paper and give children a choice.
Children can add more pizzazz to their picture by coloring their tree with a brown crayon. This should be done AFTER you have "melted" the leaves on, or the trunk will also melt.
Set this activity up as a center, and call children to the table to shave the red, orange, yellow, brown and green (peeled) crayons with a crayon sharpener.
They made their piles on 5 small paper plates and then pinched a few shavings from each color-pile and sprinkled them onto their tree branches.
Gently brush any stray crayon shavings onto the tree if they happen to fall elsewhere. As my students "sprinkled" I'd ask them why the leaves turned color? I was looking for "Because the green leaves lose their chlorophyll."
The teacher or helper gently puts a sheet of wax paper over their tree and presses a warm iron onto the paper.
If you slowly press the iron in an arched motion, the colors will run together to create more shades and you'll have a thicker looking tree. If you just press and then lift, the colors won't run as much and this creates a different affect. When you are satisfied with the way the "melting" looks, carefully peel the wax paper off.
My kiddo’s always oohed and ahhed over their beautiful autumn tree. For extra pop, mount the fall trees on black construction paper. They make a lovely bulletin board or hallway display. You can also punch a hole in the top, add a yarn loop and hang back-to-back from the ceiling. Click on the link to view/download the Autumn Tree Crayon Melts.
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"A lot of very successful people are risk-takers. Unless you're willing to do that--to have a go--fail miserably, and have another go--success won't happen." -Phillip Adams