Fall leaves are so beautiful. They’re mini pieces of artwork hung loosely from trees that, when called upon by nature, cascade to Earth. I love watching the Fall colors turn on the trees as the days inch closer to Winter. Their beautiful, bold colors makes them the perfect muse for art students learning about color theory. So when the Autumn leaves started to fall this year, I designed a game to celebrate the beginning of the end.
Fall Leaves Drawing Game
This drawing activity starts out with a simple roll of the dice. The students roll to collect the parts required to design the leaf. Next, they trace a leaf onto a large sheet of paper. Then they add their designs to both sides of the leaf. For this particular game, they use the principle of design called, “balance” to visually weigh the parts of the design. So when a pattern is drawn on the left, a corresponding pattern is drawn on the right, although not necessarily immediately adjacent to the first.
Once everything is drawn, the students use Fall leaf colors to decorate it. The key is to outline the shapes in marker so they can be “painted” in using a damp brush (Check out my drawing, coloring, and painting trips and tricks in my previous post). The final effect is one that the students marvel at how beautiful they look.
This fall leaves project works nicely for discussing analogous colors. These are what we call, “neighbor colors.” They sit next to one another on the color wheel. Examples include:
- Red, red-orange, and orange
- Orange, yellow-orange, yellow
- Yellow-orange, orange, and green
The only Fall leaf color that doesn’t fit into the scheme is brown. We talk about how brown is neutral and matches everything. You can pair it with any color and it will work.
When I teach Art, I try not to show as many teacher-created examples as possible. The reason being is they see adults as the right answer for everything. If I draw something a certain way or choose certain colors, they have a tendency to copy what I do. They aim to please and you can’t help but love them for that. However, I want independent thinkers in my classroom.
So how do I approach showing them what to do without giving it all away? I begin designing mine, but I stop somewhere along the way to let them begin. And once they have, I show them student examples (wherever possible). This gives them the chance to experience some autonomy in conceiving their design but also feel like they’re understanding the project directions without the need to seek out the ‘right answer.’
Watch it in Action!
If you’re thinking how awesome these leaves would look on your November bulletin board, you can get your own copy of the game in my shop. This resource includes the game board, step-by-step directions in color, and a large leaf tracer.