Fall Leaf Rubbing Classroom Project

Fall Leaf Rubbing Classroom Project

The falling leaves outside can inspire a great interactive classroom activity or art project.

Collect the leaves

Have each of your students collect his or her own colorful fall leaves from home. If possible, structure a nature walk around the school grounds to hunt for good leaves to make rubbings from. If your class brings leaves in from home, have them slip them into one of their schoolbooks for drying and flattening. You will want them to bring in a few examples, and the more variety in shapes the better.

How to create the leaf rubbings

Now comes the fun part. On a flat surface lay a leaf on a small stack of paper. Then place another piece of paper on top of the leaf. Use white printer paper or colored construction paper to make your rubbings on. Remove the paper wrapper from crayons. With one hand holding the paper and the other holding the crayon on its side, rub on top of the paper until you get the perfect copy of your leaves.

Create pictures: Take the activity a step further, and have the class strategically place leaves to create pictures. Then with a thin marker, students can doodle on their leaf rubbings to create objects, animals, or even faces. In our example, we turned two leaves reflecting each other into wings of a butterfly.

Make designs: Another option is to make a variety of leaf rubbings and then cut out each design. Then students can arrange the cut-out leaf rubbings into pictures and add details. In our example, we turned red, orange, and yellow leaf rubbings into the feathers of a turkey, with one shorter and wider brown leaf rubbing into the body of the turkey.

This makes a perfect Thanksgiving and fall themed classroom project. You can even tie this project into a science lesson, discussing with the class the function and patterning of the veins, comparing different shaped leaves with each other, discussing compound leaves vs. single leaves, etc. Tailor your classroom activity to your grade level. Kids of all ages will love this interactive, fun fall classroom project idea!