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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Leaf Rubbings

This was a great project that we did a couple weeks ago.  I actually never had much luck doing leaf rubbings with my preschoolers, the paper would often rip and the students would get frustrated with the process.  These rubbings were another story, the children enjoyed the process and experienced the reveal of the leaf several times.

Before starting we went for a little nature walk to collect our materials.  We are so fortunate to have many varieties of beautiful trees on the property.

After the leaves were gathered, they were taped down on thin card board backing.

They then began to wrap their boards with aluminum foil.
As they rubbed their hands over the surface the first reveal of the leaves below started to make their impression.  One of the things I loved about this project is that the children experienced the texture and impression of the leaves with their hands first, and then they began to see it appear on the foil.  I found it to be an interesting way to really look at all the veins and shape of the leaves.

After their leaf rubbing was all set on the foil, they painted over the whole board with India Ink or as one of my students called it "That Stinky Paint!"  

Here is when they had their leaf appear again in a different version of itself.  The India Ink pulls away from the raised areas, so their leaves become very vivid.

"Miss Danielle, I see my leaf, it's right there!  Do you see it, do you see it!"

We let the ink dry, and as soon as the ink set, the children rubbed away the ink from the leaves, and the third reveal happened.  It is almost like they were polishing the leaves and a  shinny silver image of itself emerged.

I loved how the children connected with the process, but also how they had so many experiences with their leaves.  They learned about the veins and the stem, that the leaf receives nourishment from them.   They looked at their own veins and we talked about how blood flows through our veins and also nourishes our bodies.   We talked about the different types of leaves they found and what trees they came from.   They felt the texture of the leaves with their hands and experienced looking at the leaf through many dimensions, the first its natural form, then just the impressions, and then a skeletal image.  It was a wonderful start to our leaf exploration.  As this was two weeks ago, we have continued to examine and discuss leaves, more on that soon!

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