Creating with Leaves// Phase I -Getting Started

'The Project Approach builds on natural curiosity, enabling children to interact, question, connect, problem-solve, communicate, reflect, and more." If you are interested in this type of approach check out the Project Approach website, they have great resources and project guide to help you start it.

This is kind of like a unit project but guided by student's interest. I completed this project in a span of 2-3 weeks, but this can expand to months. 

Phase I: Getting Started
This Project started when some children were retelling me what they have learned from their previous class. Some of the children would bring leaves from their play in front of the school yard to give me as a present, thus I thought that I could use this sudden interest and see how far we can get with it. I read the children Mouse First Fall by Lauren Thompson and Buket Erdogan as a provocation to see whether the children were actually interested in the subject of leaves.

This literacy activity led to the main question of "why do leaves change color?" and a discussion on why they thought the leaves changed colors, helped us create our web map. This question led the way for a fun investigation that transforms itself into something the children were looking forward to expanding.

For our first activity, I decided to collect leaves from the school's front yard and placed them on the table with notecards and crayons. For this activity, the children created an observational drawing of the leaves around the school and/or the neighborhood.

These are picture of some of their observational drawings:

Anticipatory Planning
For this project I wanted to prepare myself in order to answer the question asked during phase I. I decided to create a web map by including information such as; the names of the different types of leaves, the scientific reason  why the leaves change colors, what are the leaves jobs, among other questions. However, as I introduced the second activity, I soon realized that the children were more interested in what they could create with the leaves than the scientific terminology I was throwing at them. I decided to focus on the creative aspect of this project, but still, included information that I belief to be good for them to learn.

Books used during Phase I:

Mouse's First Fall                                                   Tell Me a Season by Mary McKenna Siddals.


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