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Stained-Glass-Window Leaves for Autumn




  • Arts & Humanities
    --Visual Arts
  • Science
    --Life Sciences


  • K-2
  • 3-5

Brief Description

Make "stained-glass" fall leaves to decorate classroom windows.



  • use fall colors to paint leaves of fall.
  • follow directions to create stained-glass-window fall leaves.


leaves, fall, autumn

Materials Needed

  • bubble wrap cut into 7-inch-square sheets, 1 sheet per student
  • tempera paints
  • black paper
  • outlines of leaves (provided)

Lesson Plan

This simple art lesson will add a splash of fall color to your classroom. If you teach young students, you might demonstrate the entire art lesson before providing students with materials. Before the lesson, you might also show samples of fall leaves and let students talk about the colors they see. Be sure students note that some leaves are all yellow or all orange. Others are mixtures of red and yellow or of red, yellow, and orange. Some leaves still have touches of green in them.

Provide each student with a sheet of bubble wrap, cut to a 7-inch square.

Provide tempera paints in the colors of fall -- green, red, yellow, and orange. (Students can create orange by mixing red and yellow.)

Cover work surfaces with newspaper. Instruct students to paint the entire surface of one side of their sheet of bubble wrap. They should paint it in the colors of fall. They should mimic the colors of the leaves you showed them at the beginning of the lesson.

Leave the painted bubble wrap out overnight so it will dry.

The next day, provide students with two sheets of 8-1/2 x 11-inch black construction paper. Also provide a selection of leaf outlines that students can cut out. Here are a few different samples that you might use.

Older students might draw their own leaf outlines instead of using one of the templates above.

Instruct students to place the leaf outline page on top of the two sheets of black paper and to cut through all three sheets of paper. Cut out the inside silhouette of the leaf so that a black paper frame remains around the cut-out leaf.

Place the dried bubble wrap on top of one of the black frames with a leaf cutout. Tape or staple the bubble wrap in place. Then place the other black-framed leaf cutout on top of the bubble wrap. Staple, glue, or tape the two sheets of black paper together.

Note: Instruct students to handle their sheets of painted bubble wrap with care. The dried paint might chip away from the bubble wrap if they are not careful.

Display the completed fall leaves on classroom windows so that light will shine through the bubble wrap to create a stained-glass effect.


Do students' leaves reflect the colors of fall?

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.9-12.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions

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