Gilded Edges, Golden Leaves

Gilded Edges, Golden Leaves lesson plan

Gild torn-paper edges and make golden leaf imprints on this decorative frame. Display original poetry, photos, or other reminders of nature's beauty.

  • 1.

    With an adult supervising, collect fallen leaves from plants or trees. Choose only those which are safe to handle. Wash your hands when you return indoors.

  • 2.

    Talk with classmates about why it is important to take good care of the Earth's natural environment. What can you do to help keep the Earth's ecology in balance? With Crayola® Colored Pencils, use your imagination to write an original poem, haiku, or other piece about nature. Proofread, edit, and rewrite your work in the center of construction paper using Crayola Markers.

  • 3.

    To form a frame for your writing, carefully tear out the middle of a piece of watercolor paper. Tear around the outside of the frame, too, if you wish.

  • 4.

    Cover your art area with newspaper. Gild the torn-paper edges using Crayola Premier™ Gold Tempera Paint and a Crayola Paint Brush. Dry.

  • 5.

    Brush the underside of a leaf with gold paint. Press the painted side down on the paper frame. Repeat to form a pattern. Dry.

  • 6.

    With Crayola Glue Sticks, attach the frame to your writing for display.


  • Students discuss why it is important to respect and conserve the Earth's fragile environment.
  • Students describe their concerns about nature in a poem, haiku, or short paragraph.
  • Students collect leaves, imprint them in gold on a heavy paper frame, and display their writing.


  • Some students with specials needs may appreciate help to tear out the middle of the watercolor paper.
  • Create a picture frame or book for photographs, letters, or treasured artwork using these gilding and printing techniques.
  • Try these techniques on dark construction paper using Crayola Premier™ Silver Tempera Paint. Paint and press flowers, pine needles, or other natural items.