Now that the season is rapidly changing from fall to winter, the first graders' lovely tree is coming down! For the past month, our tree has stood in the front entryway to the school.
coffee filters (I used the large size)
washable markers (red, orange, yellow, brown)
black crayon or oil pastels
pre-cut leaf tracers fit to size of coffee filter
Spray bottle with water
tree branch & base (I used a big bucket filled with bags of clay scraps)
After our study of warm and cold colors, 1st graders each wrote their name on a coffee filter with a black crayon, then colored the opposite side with warm-colored washable markers. We placed newsprint beneath our work while we colored since the ink easily bleeds through the paper. Students were encouraged to fill the circle with as many shapes of color as possible, but if they missed some places, the work turns out beautifully regardless. As they finished, students held up their work to pass through the "mist machine..." otherwise known as Ms. Jabs with a spray bottle of water. Much giggling. I stacked the damp filters together on a tray and let them sit over the week to blend and dry.
The following class period, students traced a leaf shape to their paper (I don't like to use tracing for very many projects, but it can be a difficult skill for the younger students and this is a great short project to gain practice). They cut the leaf out, which was more difficult than you might expect due to the thin paper and complex outline to the leaf shape. When complete, students helped choose a spot on the branches to hang their leaves with masking tape.