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Third Grade
Julia Kemp


3.2L.1 Compare and contrast the life cycles of plants and animals
3.2E.1 Identify Earth as a planet and describe its seasonal weather patterns of precipitation and
AR.03.CP.02 Explore aspects of the creative process and the effect of different choices on one's work.
AR.03.CP.01 Use experiences, imagination, essential elements and organizational principles to achieve a
desired effect when creating, presenting and/or performing works of art.
AR.03.CP.04 Describe how one's own work reveals knowledge of the arts, orally and in writing.

With autumn well under way we are surrounded by changes in the climate and life cycles of
the plant and animals in our environments. I want to highlight the changes that happen to tress during
the fall and more so the leaves that are changing color rapidly as the weather does. As a class we will
be discussing what happens to leaves through summer, fall and winter, what causes these changes
and how the life cycle of the tree then repeats itself. Students will then get to go outside and observe
these changes for themselves, gather leaves and create their own fall tress using artistic mediums and
the leaves they gathered.


Students will describe in a class discussion what elements are responsible for the life
cycle of leaves.
Students will compare and contrast seasonal weather patterns with a partner verbally,
identifying the changes they observe (temperature, species habits, amounts of sunlight
Students will create a visual representation of the fall trees using the leaves they gathered
and paints.
Students will be able to discuss with their class their creative processes, identifying best
practices and challenges they encountered.
Students will critique their peers and their own creations, using visual art vocabulary with
80% accuracy to express their knowledge of the arts.


Visual representations of a tree in late summer, fall and then winter.

Fall leaves
Paints (warm and cool colors)

Paper towels
Paper plates
Placemats or plastic tarp

Time: 1 hour
Assessment / Modification

Students that are resistant to the visual arts will be allowed to create a collaborative piece
with their peers
Students that have a passion for the arts will be allowed the artistic freedom to pursue
whatever they like (creating a bigger piece, using the gathered leaves in different ways or
using different mediums for their creations).
Students will have the option to express their creativity verbally or in writing with a short
story, poem, haiku etc.


Open: As a class, we will discuss the life cycles of trees and what produces the changes
in the leaves colors.
o What are the pigments responsible for the colors of leaves?
o How does the amount of sunlight effect the seasons and in turn the life cycle of
the tree?
o How does the Earths location in relation to the Sun in its orbit dictate seasonal
o How does a tree protect itself against the elements so their cycle can continue and
how do other species contribute to the success of a species? (Highlight the
connections between all living species, how we are all dependent on other
Discussion about the changes the students have observed in each season in partners (local
species, weather, temperature, plants, etc.). Collect and document class thoughts and
questions on the board.
Have students go outside and collect leaves for the Body of the lesson.
Body of the Lesson: Fall leaves art project
o Divide the class into 4 groups (about 5-6 students per group)
o Introduce the art project and concepts of visual art vocabulary (rule of thirds,
warm colors, cool colors, balance, prints, acrylic paints, and mediums).
o Model a demonstration of creating a print using paints, sponges for application of
paint and creating a print using the leaf on a piece of paper.
o Encourage artistic freedom, creativity and innovation. At this time address the
accommodation and modifications available for the students.

o Students will then be released into their groups: they will have two plates of paint:
one with a variety of cool colors and the other with warm colors, paper towels for
clean-up, sponges for paint application and paper to place their prints.


Students will then pick their favorite prints to be displayed collectively with their
classmates pieces.
Students will be allowed time to look at others pieces and reflect on their experiences.
Students will then partake in a class art critique in which they will be encouraged to talk
about their artistic processes, comment on others pieces and use artistic vocabulary.