877-542-5504 877-542-5504

Want to Help Fellow Teachers?

Please help us grow this free resource by submitting your favorite lesson plans.

Lesson Plan #:AELP-INT005
Date: 1994

Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


  • Interdisciplinary
  • Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Science


Students will be able to use plant materials to create various colored dyes and will be able to use these dyes to create a painting and/or dye cloth. Materials:
Various plant materials, books on plants, cloth or jars to hold dyes. Activity:
This is an activity designed to have students collect plant materials to make plant dyes. The student can use these dyes to paint pictures of the things they saw while they collected the materials or to dye cloth for later use in art projects. Make use of the collecting time to teach conservation practices in collecting. The materials collected should not noticeably change the environment of the area in which they were found. In some parts of the country and in national parks, it is against the law to pick wildflowers and plants. Find out if this is the case in your area. Also investigate to avoid any poisonous plants. (Be sure to supervise carefully your students throughout this activity. Make sure no students attempt to taste any of the plants or berries they collect.) The plant materials below may be available in your area:
Color Plant Source
Blue-violet Cherry roots
Purple Elderberries, black raspberries
Reddish-purple Pokeweed berries
Red-pink Dandelion roots, cherries, strawberries, red raspberries, cardinal flowers, sorrel roots and bark, hemlock bark
Violet Grapes
Blue Blueberries (boiled)
Dark brown Walnut husks (boiled)
Reddish brown Buckeye husks
Yellow Goldenrod (boiled), willow leaves, marsh marigolds, ash (inner bark), St. Johnswort flowers (boiled), onion skin, tulip trees’ leaves, ragweed, burdock, Osage orange roots and bark (boiled)
Rose tan Birch bark, willow bark, sassafras roots
Green Plantain leaves and roots (boiled), nettle (roots, stalk, leaves), lily of the valley leaves
Yellow-orange Bloodroot (boiled)
Salmon Cherry bark
Black Walnut husks, sumac leaves

Reprinted with permission, American Forest Council, Copyright 1987, Project Learning Tree Supplementary Guide K-6.

This lesson plan was downloaded from Big Sky Telegraph.