Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fall Leaf Scratch Art (and related books!)

Are the leaves changing colors where you are?  Every year I look forward to seeing the beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows.  Today I wanted to share this really easy fall craft that doubles as a STEAM activity.  It's a science and art activity that helps kids to represent how leaves change colors in the fall.

Fall Leaf Scratch Art

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As always, here are some picture books that would go along great with this activity!

Fall Leaf Picture Books

Let's Make Fall Leaf Scratch Art

Here's the science behind this activity:  
Trees mostly use chlorophyll to change sunlight into food.  Chlorophyll is inside the leaves and it's what gives leaves their green color.  There is typically less sunlight during fall.  Most trees rest and stop making food.  So the chlorophyll disappears.  Leaves are made up of different pigments, so when the green pigment disappears, other colors (like orange and yellow) are revealed.    

Now let's do the art:
To show this happening, first color in a sheet of paper with red, orange, and yellow oil pastels to represent the other non-green pigments in the leaves.

Then, cover the colors with green pigment ( to represent the chlorophyll that the leaf mostly uses during the spring and summer.)

Now it's time to show what happens in the fall! Cut out leaf shapes...

and get scratching to reveal all the other lovely fall colors!

Aren't they lovely?  If you want to hang these leaves up, I definitely recommend spraying them with a fixative because oil pastels do smear!

:) That's it! Now you have a super easy and artsy way to show why leaves change colors in the fall!

If you liked this leaf activity, check out more leaf crafts below!

More Leaf Crafts