Celebrate pumpkins, fall foliage, and the harvest with music, science, and art lesson plans!
- Compare fruits and vegetables
- Create patterns using fruits and vegetables as stamps
- Fruits and vegetables that produce clear prints (such as apples, peppers, carrots, potatoes, oranges, etc.)
- Cutting board
- Paper towels
- Foam or cardboard trays
- Tempera paint in colors of fruits and vegetables you are using
- White construction paper, at least one sheet per student
- Cut cross sections of apples, peppers, carrots, potatoes, oranges, and other fruits and vegetables that produce clear prints.
- Place some sections that still contain seeds on paper towels and label.
- Prepare the other sections for printing. Remove the seeds from the fruits. Place these fruit and vegetable sections on trays.
- Pour tempera paint into separate trays. Try to match the natural colors of the fruits and vegetables as closely as possible.
- Set up several stations with printmaking supplies around the classroom so that students can work in small groups.
- Optional: You may want to write students' names on the sheets of construction paper ahead of time.
Step 1: Demonstrate how to lightly press a fruit or vegetable section into paint and then press on paper and lift up to make a print.
CAUTION: Remind students that the fruits and vegetables they are using to make prints are not for eating.
Step 2: Let students make their own prints at the stations, dipping fruits and vegetables in paints that best match their natural colors.
Step 3: Set the prints aside to dry.
Step 4: When the prints are dry, have students study the fruit and vegetable samples on the paper towels. Engage students in a conversation about the differences between fruits and vegetables, such as only fruits have seeds.
Step 5: When the prints are dry, have students examine the fruit and vegetable samples and draw the seeds on their fruit prints. (The prints made with vegetables will not have seeds.) This will reinforce students' understanding that only fruits have seeds.
Step 6: Hang the prints around the classroom or arrange them along a chalkboard or whiteboard ledge or the window sills.
Provide edible samples of the fruits and vegetables as a separate activity before or after students make the prints.
Let students make more fruit and vegetable prints using whatever colors they like. This is a good opportunity to add patterning extensions, like letting students start patterns for classmates to continue. You can do the same, using fruits and vegetables to start patterns for students to continue. You can also make copies of the pattern starters after the paint dries to make a class set of patterns to play with.
Class Book Activity
Begin by reading Lunch by Denise Fleming, the story of a hungry mouse who eats nine fruits and vegetables and leaves little stains that have everyone guessing.
As a class, write a sequel that introduces the hungry mouse to some new fruits and vegetables. Using the fruit and vegetable stamps, have students work in groups to illustrate and write pages for a class book. For example, one student can draw a mouse on the page, another can use a fruit or vegetable to make a print, and a third can write or dictate the text.
Before putting the pages together, decide on the order in which the mouse will eat the fruits and vegetables. Have students use their fingertips to smudge the colors of each previous fruit or vegetable on the mouse (like in the book's illustrations).
Brainstorm a title for the sequel (perhaps someone will recommend "Dinner"), and add a colorful cover.