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This is an easy and fun project to do with students from Kindergarten to 2nd Grade. Bring in a variety of veggies for this project and allow students to choose. Teachers should cut the vegetables ahead of time for safety reasons. Try cutting vegetables from different angles to create different prints from the same vegetable. For example, you can cut a pepper to reveal the rings, or cut it from a different angle for a completely different print.
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You will need:
- vegetables, such as celery, peppers, potatoes, and carrots. Choose vegetables that are firm, not mushy.
- acrylic or tempera paint
- sponges (you will pour a small amount of paint onto the sponge for printing)
- stiff paper or cardstock
Older students can use a carving tool to make more intricate cuts in potatoes for an exquisite print, while elementary students can just print the vegetable the way it is. The teacher will cut slices and chunks from the vegetables ahead of time and students will choose 2 or 3 vegetables for their print.
Using a stiff paper, such as cardstock, the student will place the vegetable slice on a sponge that has a small amount of paint poured on it. Then the student will press the vegetable onto the paper. Let students be creative in creating their vegetable print. They can choose to repeat patterns, use one or more colors, or whatever they want to do on their paper. The creation of this project is more important than the final outcome. Even though the materials are similar, the projects will all turn out unique. This is the fun of the project. While simple, it is a soothing and very therapeutic way of exploring color, shape, and patterns.
Once the prints are dry, create a bulletin board using the students' vegetable prints. Use a fall harvest border and brown background paper, and label it "Fall Harvest Fun". Then showcase your students' vegetable prints by displaying them on the bulletin board for all to see. Your students will love comparing pictures, and they will all be fabulous examples of creativity!
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For another great lesson on vegetables and fall harvest, read, We're Growing Vegetable Soup: Elementary Lesson Plan