A giant, collaborative leaf-rubbing print for Tu B’Shevat. We tried this in Kindergarten last Sunday and it worked. Gorgeous. And, we still had time to make individual leaf-rubbing prints to take home. The 9-foot banner will hang at the school entrance to welcome students and visitors at Tu B’Shevat.
Everyone seemed to enjoy bringing leaves to the floor, arranging them just so, and rubbing the sides of naked crayons on the top sheet. Because our flooring is slightly textured, I put down a bottom sheet, too. The leaves were sandwiched between, which kept them from slipping about while we rubbed. The Kindergarten teacher reminded kids that we can use different crayons on the same leaf, which gives the design more depth and color.
Where did we get the leaves? Child labor. A few weeks ago, on a Sunday far more warm and sunny, we wandered under synagogue trees to collect fallen leaves. This took a whole 30 min. class because we did not rush the wandering. A leaf hunt is one way to get to know the place better—our place, our synagogue—the outside of the building and what grows near it.
We are lucky to have mature sugar maples, walnut, cherry, hackberry, magnolia, and redbud within reach.
When we brought the leaves inside, we noted the different colors, shapes and sizes as we tucked them between sheets of Israeli newspapers and pressed them flat with an oversized art book.
Even if you don’t know the names of the trees from which you collect, you can still sort by leaf attribute. But honestly, I can’t think of a better lesson than trying to ID the trees around a school. Bring a field guide, do bark rubbings, make a tree map?
See an account of a Tu B’Shevat tree walk I took with first graders at my post, Tu B’Shevat Sow and Tell.
And here are more tree ideas for Tu B’Shevat at BibleBeltBalabusta.com.