Fall Poetry in Art

I recently introduced the beauty of watercolor to my 2nd graders.

As a class we read books, looked at photographs and even did some online research about the beautiful change of fall. Here's one of our favorites
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Florida doesn't get much of a true season change this time of year so I knew I had to front load and really get them thinking about what autumn looks like in other parts of the globe.

Supplies Needed:
School grade watercolor paper (I use 90lb.)
Table Salt or Sea Salt- either work well
Vivid watercolor paints

Since this was their first painting experience of the year, I didn't want to put a lot of parameters on their exploration. I gave them the paint and let them go at it!
I love watching them figure out the process of balance, layout and design.

Some kiddos were very meticulous and didn't want to let their colors mix.
While others couldn't help but "oooo and ahhh" over their color creations.
TIP: I walk around with a spray bottle to quickly and easily add water to dry papers.
This really helps me with clean up and drippy paintings!

Many of the kids began to add small drops of color and then ask for the spray bottle.
Watching the color "grow" as they called it, may have been their favorite part!!
The salt reaction was hard to beat as well!
 As they finished painting their watercolor paper- before it was dry, they sprinkled a pinch or two of  salt onto their paper and watched the color change.
The salt absorbed some of the pigment leaving you with a nice speckled look.
That was the end of day 1- we let them dry overnight.
Day 2- They rubbed off most of the dried salt and used leaf tracers to get the shape they desired. We had to trace the shapes onto the back of the paper- since not all of the salt will come off, it's a bit tricky to draw on the front of the painted paper.
Once they cut them out, we cleaned up and set our leaves aside.

I had them work in groups to begin brainstorming ideas for our FALL acrostic poems.
They came up with some fabulous words and ideas!!
The books and research really seemed to give them a jumping off point.

I'm a classroom teacher at heart so I know any chance of merging ELA or Math standards into my art lessons will only help reinforce their teacher's efforts!
It's all hands on deck with CCSS! 
They glued their leaves to black or brown construction paper and used white colored pencils to complete their poems.
I would not recommend using white crayon for this project...colored pencils are erasable in the event of a mishap.
I'm in LOVE with the pops of color!


  1. Thanks girl! :) Come back on Monday- I'll post the fun Kinder color project we're working on!

  2. So what was this process?
    * Use fall colors to cover a watercolor sheet of paper?
    * When was the salt added to the process?
    Thank you. Want to try this at home.

  3. What kind of paper were the leaves made out of?

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