LEAFY SCULPTURE – Texture, Colour, Form

In this 3-part lesson students use Model Magic and natural objects to create a leaf person sculpture that includes crayon leaf rubbings, sticks and twigs, and then they develop a list of personality traits for their creation.

Required Time

160 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 2 to Grade 6


Language Arts
Visual Arts



Crayola Model Magic - Primary Colours and White Crayola Washable No-Run School Glue Crayola Scissors Crayola Construction Paper Crayola Crayons Clothes Pegs Cotton Balls Pipe Cleaners Dried Leaves Twigs and Small Branches Dried Flowers and Grasses Googly Eyes and Other Embellishments

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LEAFY SCULPTURE – Texture, Colour, Form - Step One

Step One


  1. Laminate or seal the leaf in some way.
  2. Place a piece of construction paper on top of the leaf.
  3. Colour on top of the paper with the side of a broken crayon to make a rubbing of the leaf.
  4. Remove the paper.
  5. Turn the leaf over and make a rubbing of it on a new piece of construction paper.
    - This rubbing should be the reverse of the first one.
LEAFY SCULPTURE – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Cut out both rubbings.
LEAFY SCULPTURE – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Glue two twigs to the back of one of the rubbings for arms.
  2. Use a pipe cleaner to join two longer branches together at one end.
  3. Use these for the legs and the neck
    - They should be close together at the top, and far apart at the bottom.
    - Let one of the branches extend about 3 cm past the other where you join them.
  4. Use clothes pegs to hold the twigs in place until the glue dries.
  5. Once the glue is dry remove the clothes pegs.
LEAFY SCULPTURE – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Glue cotton balls on either side of the branches.
  2. Squeeze glue around the outer edge of the leaf.
LEAFY SCULPTURE – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Place the other leaf rubbing on top.
  2. Use clothes pegs to clamp it in place.
  3. Set it aside to dry.
LEAFY SCULPTURE – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Six

Step Six


  1. Mix primary colours of Model Magic to get the colour you want.
  2. Shape the head and push it onto the stick.
  3. Make sure the stick goes completely inside and to the top of the Model Magic.
    - This will support the head and keep it from falling off.
  4. Add details and embellishments.
LEAFY SCULPTURE – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Seven

Step Seven


  1. When the Model Magic is completely dry make Model Magic feet.
  2. Push the feet onto the ends of the legs.
  3. Press the Model Magic feet onto a branch or stone to attach your sculpture to it's base.
    - The Model Magic should stick when you press it onto the surface, but you may want to add glue to make it extra secure.
  4. View your sculpture character with fresh eyes.
    - Answer the questions in the ALL ABOUT questionnaire as if the character is you.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • use leaves, sticks and natural objects to create a ‘leaf person’ sculpture;
  • create rubbings of leaves;
  • develop a list of personality traits for their character sculpture;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


Have students:

  • work in groups of 3 or 4 to create a graphic story using their leaf people as the main characters;
  •  base the character’s behaviour and way of speaking on their personality traits;
  • publish the stories in an anthology;
  • share the book with other students in the school.


  1. If possible take students on a nature walk and collect dried grasses and flowers, leaves and branches. Otherwise gather them ahead of time.
  2. Laminate the leaves or seal them in some other way.
  3. Download some images of sculptures from the Internet, for example,
  4. Create a sample.


  1. Display 2 images of different sculptures side by side. 
  2. Discuss how these artworks are different than a painting or drawing.
  3. Notice the different materials used for each work.
  4. Talk about what is interesting about each piece, and compare them, for example,
    - use of texture
    effects of materials on how we relate to the work
    - personality of each piece and how it is achieved
    - body language and how it makes us feel about the figure
  5. Make sure students support their ideas with evidence found in the work. 
  6. Introduce the challenge


The Challenge

  1. Use leaves, sticks and natural objects to create a ‘leaf person’ sculpture.
  2. Create rubbings of leaves.
  3. Develop a list of personality traits for your sculpture.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Present an overview of the entire project so students are able to see the ‘big picture’ and to be better aware of all the steps.
  2. Stress that this is a challenging project because it takes patience to wait for the glue to dry, and that it has many different components.
  3. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  4. Establish success criteria with your students. For example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a free standing leaf sculpture
    - made mirror image rubbungs of a large leaf
    - mixed primary colours to make new colours
    - identified a list of personality traits for my character
    - kept the artwork in good condition
  5. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  6. Demonstrate how to make the rubbings and have students do theirs.
  7. As students finish and cut out their rubbings allow them to choose twigs and branches for the arms and legs.
  8. Structure the time so students complete all the gluing and clamping in one class, and finish the head and feet and embellishments in another.
    - You cannot attach the sculpture to its base until the Model Magic dries because it will be too heavy to stand up.
    - Once it is thoroughly dry the Model Magic becomes very light and the sculptures can be glued to a base.
  9. Observe students as they work. 
  10. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.
  11. When the sculptures are finished have students use the ALL ABOUT questionnaire to interview their character giving it a name and answering the questions as if they are the Leafy.


  1. Have students work in groups.  Provide a piece of coloured fabric for each group to place on their tables.
  2. Ask groups to work together to arrange their sculptures as if they are at a gathering.
    Introduce each character to the others in your group by sharing the answers to the questionnaire.
    Think about their personalities and body language as you group them.
  3. Ask students to gather in front of the displays and to look at the works thoughtfully.
  4. Ask them to find an interesting thing about any 3 of them.
  5. Move from display to display discussing the sculptures at each spot.
  6. During the discussion include references to:
    Personality – how the artist has communicated ideas about the figure
    Technical accomplishment – carefully constructed work
    Creativity – unique qualities about each piece
    Conversations – what might the figures be saying?
  7. Have students share some of the quiz information as comments are being made to confirm or expand on viewers' interpretations.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their sculptures – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the sculpture, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Leafy_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the LEAFY self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Leafy_self-assessment.pdf)