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Fall Foliage Exploration

Fall is just around the corner, and your child or the children in your class may have noticed a change in the leaves. Before setting up this invitation go on a nature walk, collect leaves of all colors (green, yellow, orange, red, and brown). When you come back open up a discussion about why leaves change colors or read a story explaining the science behind it. In the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.

You can further extend this invitation into process art. On a piece of recycled cardboard have your child glue the leaves in the order of the color changing process. You can guide them through this process. After that you can glue cotton pads and coffee filters along side the leaves. Provide your child with pipettes or jumbo droppers and Colorations liquid water colors. Let them paint the cotton pads and coffee filters into a fall foliage work of art.

Children’s interest are definitely sparked when the activity unfolds itsself with multiple layers of learning. From going on a nature walk, to discussing or reading about what they gathered, to creating, followed by process art. They see the evolution of the process a leaf goes through in different mediums of learning.

A provocation such as this is a technique used to stimulate children's thinking, to inspire them artistically, to empower them to take control over their learning, to open their minds, to create an environment for reflection, to challenge children, to encourage creativity. The power of creativity and laying the foundation for that creativity through the process of art is essential to children.

"When children explore art ideas, they are testing possibilities and working through challenges, much like a scientist who experiments and finds solutions. Art allows children to make their own assessments, while also teaching them that a problem may have more than one answer. Instead of following specific rules or directions, the child’s brain becomes engaged in the discovery of “how” and “why.” MaryAnn Kohl

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