This lesson was inspired by a post from Rachel and her blog, Color and Collage. The shadows are such a clever addition to the composition and the kids thought it was a brilliant touch too.
On the first day, each student received a piece of 9x12 art paper. I led them along in drawing an oak leaf as large as possible on the paper. Some students chose to draw their own style of leaf and that was completely encouraged based on their comfort levels. Then the kids traced their drawings with Sharpie and added texture and watercolor paints as desired.
To get the backgrounds started, I passed out paper that was roughly 12"x 16" and demonstrated how to use chalk pastels. We talked about how an artist can show movement in his/her artwork through lines. We made spirals and dashes and then used our fingers to trace on top of the chalk pastel lines and make them "glow." When students finished the background work for the day, they tied up any loose ends on their leaves.
I demonstrated how to finish up the background papers. We used paint sticks to fill in and overlap more areas of color to convey even more motion. Then I showed my students how to cut out their leaves and use the cut leaf shape as a template for making a shadow. We glued down the shadows first, then the leaves on top, slightly off-kilter, for that shadow effect.