Leaf Art as an Inspiration for Haiku and Expository Writing (3)



Leaf art, Haiku writing and expository writing.

I used the following lesson as a community building activity, integrated writing and visual art.


1.     To build a sense of community for all three classes of third graders in the building.

2.     To show students how to use natural materials for art.

3.     To introduce them to Haiku.


Have a copy of a dried leaf art book on animals.  Dried leaves, liquid glue, glue stick, orange, green, brown, and blue construction paper, and tag boards and filler paper.

Procedures:   Making the leaf art.

1.      Show them a book about using leaves to create pictures of animals.

2.       Students collect fallen leaves of their liking.

3.      They wipe it dry and clean; press it between phone books for three weeks.

4.      Bring the dried leaves to school in a box.  All the leaves for sharing are placed in the "Leaf Bank".

5.      All three classes get together and after directions are explained, construct their animals using the dried leaves.  Anyone can visit the "Leaf Bank" for leaves they need or to donate unused leaves.

6.      Students are given a choice to the size of the tag board for gluing their leaf animal on.  Making a background with extra leaves is allowed.

7.      Place waxed paper between finished pictures, stack them up in piles of four, and place heavy dictionaries on top for a week as it dries.

8.      Trim finished pictures to desired size; glue this onto a colored piece of construction paper with glue stick, not liquid glue (this makes the picture buckle up).

9.      Again stack in piles of four, place heavy dictionaries on top again for a couple of days.  Now you are finished.

Writing Haiku

1.     Read some Haiku to them.

2.     Practice syllables with rhythm sticks, using words related to autumn or students' names.

3.     Explain what a Haiku is and its form of three lines, 5,7,5 syllables in order of first, second, and third line.

4.     Practice writing a Haiku about rain as a whole class.

5.     Direct them to write two Haiku about their leaf animal picture choose their favorite of the two and make a final copy after proofreading.

6.     Whole class sharing of Haiku.

Writing an Expository paper on how to make the leaf art.

Give some modeling about how to explain something to someone by using a format.  Students have a choice to use the format or not.

Yesterday my class………………………First, secondly, thirdly, fourthly and finally………………………………(close it with an opinion regarding the subject)


The students loved getting together with friends from other classes.  They now have the experience of listening to directions from all three teachers and thus are beginning to build a relationship with us in preparation for camping overnight in the spring.  They are also comfortable being in each other's classrooms now.

The leaf animals turned out beautiful and the students were so pleased and surprised by the end product.

Haiku poems were just a beginning attempt; I hope they will improve with time.  It will be a good tool for exploration of emotions and expression.


We will share the writing components and poetry.


Only a few students chose to make a background and those pictures turned out richer in composition.    Next time, I think I should encourage more students to make a background by telling them to try and compost a picture on paper with pencil and paper first.   Otherwise, I feel that it was an excellent project.


Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating  poetry will help children gain meaningful context to their lives.