Autumn Handprint Tree Lesson Plan

Art Lesson Title: Autumn Handprint Tree

Grade Level: Preschool/Kindergarten

Rationale/Goal: For children to create a fall tree using paint with Q-tips as well as their handprint. After completing this project and listening to the story, children should understand more about fall and how leaves and trees change.


  1. Standard 1- Creating Works of Visual Art: (SC Academic Standards in Visual Arts) The student will demonstrate competence in the use of ideas, materials, techniques, and processes in the creation of works of visual art.

Indicators: VAK-1.1 Use his or her own ideas in the creation of works of visual art. VAK-1.3 Use all art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

  1. Standard 6- Making Connections: (SC Academic Standards in Visual Arts) The student will make connections between the visual arts and other arts disciplines, other content areas, and the world.

Indicators: VAK-6.1 Identify connections between the visual arts and content areas across the curriculum.

  1. Standard 1- Inquiry-Based Literacy Standards (SC Department of Education: English Language Arts) Formulate relevant, self-generated questions based on interests and/or needs that can be investigated

Indicators: 1.1 Engage in daily opportunities for play and exploration to foster a sense of curiosity, develop the disposition of inquisitiveness, and begin to verbally articulate “I wonders” about ideas of interest


  1. SWBAT create their own unique tree by using their own handprint.
  2. SWBAT cooperate with other students by sharing paint.
  3. SWBAT demonstrate their understanding of the story “The Little Yellow Leaf” by creating a fall tree using the materials given. (Standard 6)
  4. SWBAT answer questions that the teacher asks to foster their sense of curiosity. Ex: What colors do the leaves turn in the fall? What sound do you think a falling leaf makes? What is another color similar to the word “scarlet”? What did you think of the story?


  1. Standard 1 (SC Academic Standards):

Informal: Observe the students work and how they use their creativity in paint color while creating their tree and leaves.

Formal: Demonstrate understanding of main ideas from the corresponding book, such as the fact that leaves change colors in the fall and that leaves fall off trees in the fall. They can do this by creating their own fall tree using the colors given.

  1. Standard 6 (SC Academic Standards):

Informal: Their creation of a tree looks somewhat like an actual tree and they understand that it is a tree.

Formal: Have students be able to make connections from the story as well as project to their experiences.

  1. Standard 1 (SC Department of Education)

Informal: Ask the students if they have any questions or thoughts about the story or activity.

Formal: Engage students by reading and asking questions during the storybook such as what color are the leaves turning? What do you think is going to happen next?

Key Concepts:

  • Fall colors, changing seasons, fine motor skills, exploration and curiosity, active listening, creativity

Lesson Sequence:

  1. Preparatory work: Paint brown tree trunks on white paper before teaching date and gather materials. Place paper, paint, Q-tips on each table.
  2. Introduce ourselves
  3. Read the book “The Little Yellow Leaf” before doing project. Ask questions throughout story and wait for response from children.
  4. After we finish the story, explain activity and show the children examples of finished product.
  5. Demonstrate activity while children are still on carpet. Show the children a finished copy of what the tree should look like when finished.
  6. Have children go find a seat at a table, once they each put on a smock with their parents.
  7. Along with parents go around classroom and paint children’s hand with brown paint and stamp it on the piece of paper with the tree trunk. Also, make sure the children’s name is on their own piece of paper.
  8. Wipe children’s hands off using baby wipes.
  9. Have students use Q-tips with red, yellow, and orange paint to place “leaves” on the branches (handprint) of their tree.
  10. When they are finished painting the leaves on the tree with the Q-tips, place tree on a drying rack or counter to let dry.
  11. Close by reviewing key concepts by asking questions such as “What colors do the leaves turn in the fall?”
  12. Have children take their finished tree to take home.
  13. Say goodbye and thank you for coming!


  • About 15 pieces of white paper with already painted tree trunk.
  • The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
  • Brown Paint for handprint
  • Yellow paint
  • Red paint
  • Orange paint
  • Q-tips
  • Palettes for paint to be placed on
  • 5 big paint brushes
  • Baby wipes
  • Markers

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