Activity Introduction

cc-primary16-heroQuick summary: Students explore why trees are important, what the parts of a tree are called and why we need trees. Students begin by observing trees in nature, and then draw upon inspiration from the story The Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert to make their own leaf men with fallen leaves. These will be used to create a display to teach other students about the importance of trees.

This lesson is designed to be taught outside. It contains all the tools required for students to reap the benefits of being outdoors while learning the outcomes of the Australian Curriculum. By spending time outdoors and connecting to nature, students are more likely to care for and conserve nature as adults.

We’ve taken elements of this lesson and adapted them for remote learning. You can find this activity here.


Essential questions:

  • Why are trees important?
  • What are the different parts of trees?
  • How can we use natural objects to create artworks?
  • What are the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside?

21st century skills:

cc leaf man skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Foundation to 2 Visual Arts

  • Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks (ACAVAM107)

Syllabus outcomes: VAS1.2.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Foundation Visual Arts achievement standards: Students make artworks in different forms to express their ideas, observations and imagination, using different techniques and processes.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 50 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – teachers lead the students in songs, read a picture book, guide discussions and help students to create artworks.

Resources required: Device capable of presenting a website to the class. The Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. Landscape photos from old calendars/magazines OR A4 pieces of clear contact OR A4 sheets of black cardboard. Glue (if using photos/cardboard instead of contact). Device capable of taking photos.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital photography, digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: leaf, tree, conservation, art, collage, outdoors, outdoor learning.

Cool Australia would like to thank The Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.

Youngman Trust Logo

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

cc-primary7-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students understand the different parts of the tree, and why trees are a valuable part of our environment. Students recognise how to use messages from a story and inspiration from the environment around them to create artworks using fallen natural materials. Students understand how these artworks can be used to create a display to teach other students about the importance of trees.

Outdoor learning information:

Outdoor Learning Series:


To help guide teachers through suggested activities in this lesson, we have developed a series of icons designed to show what types of activities are involved and where these activities may take place (see Learning Activity Key below).

learning activity icons key updated-v3

This lesson is designed to support students and teachers undertaking th

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