SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern

Students use watercolour paints and crayons along with leaves, flowers and sticks to create a colourful suncatcher.


Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2


Language Arts
Visual Arts


crayon resist flower nature pattern plants seasons shape texture trees


Crayola Watercolour Paints - 8 Count Crayola Scissors Crayola Crayons - Regular NOT Washable - 24 Count Crayola Paintbrushes - 5 Count Paper Plates - White - 1 per student Ribbon Transparent Contact Paper Hole Punch Leaves, Flowers, Sticks Water Containers

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SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern - Step One

Step One

  1. Go for a nature walk and gather flowers, leaves and sticks.
SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Cut a circle out of the inner part of the paper plate.
  2. Do not cut the outside edges of the plate.
SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use crayons to draw a pattern on both slides of the paper plate.
SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Paint over the crayon pattern with watercolours.
  2. The cratoy will show through the paint.
  3. This is called crayon resist technique.
  4. Paint both sides of the plate.
SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Cut out 2 circles of transparent contact paper. 
  2. Use the circle you cut out of the paper plate as a template. 
  3. Make the transparent contact paper circles about 2.5 cm (1 inch) bigger than the paper plate circle.
SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Stick one of the transparent circles over the hole in the paper plate. 
  2. Make sure that the contact paper only sticks to the plate
  3. Turn the plate over.
SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Use the things you gathered on your nature walk to create a picture or design on the transparent contact paper. 
  2. The pieces will stick right away. 
SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Place the 2nd contact paper circle on top of the picture you created, sticky side facing down.
  2. Gently rub the surface to stick the two pieces of contact paper together.
SUNCATCHER CREATIONS – Shape, Texture and Pattern - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Use a hole punch to make a hole at the top of the plate. 
  2. Pull a ribbon through the hole.
  3. Tie the ends of the ribbon together with a knot. 
  4. Hang your suncatcher in the window!

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • work independently and self-regulate;
  • share their ideas with peers;
  • create personal responses to the centre materials; 
  • explore texture, shapes and patterns.


  1. Science Centre – Provide samples of flowers, trees, plants, and grasses. Include a checklist for comparison that provides a spot for such things as: 
    - colour (light or dark)
    - texture (soft or rough)
    - smell (yes or no)
  2. Nature Walk – Go on a nature walk during each season. Discuss how nature changes for each season. Prepare a class chart outlining what was observed during each season. Compare observations for each of the seasons.
  3. Tree Friends – In September go on a nature walk. Have each student pick a tree to become their tree friend. Over the course of the year go on regular nature walks so students may record their observations and draw their trees in a journal provided for this use. 


  1. Gather all the materials needed for this activity.
  2. Gather and make available books from the library on flowers, plants, trees, nature and seasons, such as, Trees, Leaves, Flowers and Seeds: A Visual Encyclopedia of the Plant Kingdom, by DK, and Smithsonian Institution; National Geographic Readers: Seed to Plant, by Kristin Rattini; Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt: (Nature Book for Kids, Gardening and Vegetable Planting, Outdoor Nature Book), by Kate Messner; 50 Wild Flowers to Spot, by Usborne Nature Trail; Trees for all Seasons, by Robin Bernard; Trees, Leaves and Bark, by Robin Bernard; Mrs. Peanuckle's Flower Alphabet, by Mrs. Peanuckle, and Jessie Ford; and The Magic and Mystery of Trees, by Jen Green, and Claire McElfatrick.
  3. Display pictures and posters of trees, plants, and trees.
  4. Take students on a nature walk and observe plants, flowers and trees. Talk about the differences between wild plants and flowers, and what we plant in our gardens at home.
  5. During your nature walk have students collect flowers, plants, leaves and sticks. 
  6. When you return to the classroom record the season and your observations on a chart paper 
  7. As a class share and talk about the items they collected.


  1. Conduct a read-aloud with a book such as, The Magic and Mystery of Trees, by Jen Green, and Claire McElfatrick or Mrs. Peanuckle's Flower Alphabet, by Mrs. Peanuckle, and Jessie Ford focussing on several interesting facts and drawing attention to details in the illustrations.
  2. Review what a pattern is and ask volunteers to demonstrate clapping a pattern and drawing a pattern.
  3. Explain to students that they will be using some of the natural materials they collected on their nature walk to create a design or picture.
  4. Explain what a suncatcher is - a window ornament often made with coloured glass
  5. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. ​Gather a variety of plants, flowers and sticks.
  2. Create a suncatcher using natural objects.
  3. Create a pattern using crayon resist technique.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Share your ideas with others.

The Process

  1. ​Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students. For example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a suncatcher
    - used natural objects to create my design
    - used crayon resist technique effectively
    - created a pattern
    - explained the rules for my pattern

    - kept the suncatcher in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in the lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into groups of 3 or 4 and ask them to share their suncatchers with each other. Ask students to share the following:
    How did you come up with the idea for your design?
    - Why did you choose to use those natural objects?
    - What is the rule for your pattern?
    - What do you like best about your suncatcher?
  2. Display the suncatchers in the classroom windows.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their artworks – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the artwork, 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 - Suncatcher_tracking.sheet.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Suncatcher_self-assessment.pdf)