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Arts & Humanities
--Visual Arts



Brief Description

Use pipe cleaners and colorful tissue paper to make eye-catching fall leaf sun catchers. (Grades K-8)


Students will follow simple directions to create a colorful fall display.


tissue paper, fall, autumn, leaves, pipe cleaners, chenille stems

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]


Lesson Plan

Bring the colors of fall -- reds, oranges, and golds -- into the classroom with this simple activity.

Provide students with a variety of coloring pages of leaf shapes. You can find a variety of pages by using your favorite search engine to search for leaf coloring pages. Here are a few sample pages:

Alternate idea: Have students collect leaves from the playground and trace the outline of those leaves onto sheets of drawing paper. (Note: Coloring pages present larger images of leaves than tracing the actual leaves would produce. The larger the leaves, the more dramatic your display will be.)

Next, instruct students to bend the chenille stems (pipe cleaners) to match up with the outline of the printed leaf. Where two or more chenille stems are needed to form the entire leaf outline, use white liquid glue to glue the stem ends together where they meet. Allow to dry.

Then cut squares of colorful tissue paper that are slightly larger than the leaf shapes formed from the chenille stems. Spread white liquid glue along the exposed top surface of the chenille stems. Press the sheet of tissue paper onto the chenille stems.

When the tissue paper has dried onto the chenille-stem leaf outline, use scissors to trim the excess tissue paper away from the leaf outline. Display on a window so light passes through the colorful leaves.


Assess students based on their ability to follow directions.

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
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes

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