Tag Archives: trees

Birds: Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek



I did this lesson a few years ago as a collage project. I love illustrator Laura Dronzek  images in the book. For this lesson, I had planned my shape birds for K thinking it was a “B” week for art but alas, it was “A” week and instead of a pile of Kinders popping into art, it was First Graders. Yikes! That’s what I get for not double checking my phone calendar.


Anyway, I had tempera cake, black crayons and skinny paper and immediately tried to think of things that were spring themed and could be done on the skinny paper. Laura Dronzek’s birds seemed perfect.

I always start my lessons with younger students with guided drawing for those who want that sort help. I also tell my students that they can move ahead if they have a plan. The only “rule” for this lesson was birds and trees.


Trees with Seasons



The 1/2 Combo teachers told me they were studying the seasons.


The students did a Styrofoam printing plate of a tree. They printed it four times.


Once finished, they used dots to paint the different seasons. Nice lesson that brought together Pop Art-Andy Warhol, Pointillism-Georges Seurat, and classroom curriculum.


Winter Trees



I have seen many variations on winter trees and this is what I did with grade 4.

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I demo’ed how to create different backgrounds-gradated colors, blended colors, tints and shades.


They painted a background of their choice in tempera. Once they were finished, I demo’ed different types of winter trees.


Then they added trees to their backgrounds. 

Trees in Snow


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This lesson was done with preschool and TK. I am sure is could be adapted for other ages. For this lesson, we used a printing technique done with scraps of cardboard and tempera paint.

To begin, we used some clean room paper that was donated to our class. It is a pale blue color and has a thicker yet smoother texture than that of construction paper.


Students first cut white paper for their snow. I drew wiggly lines on a rectangle strip of paper that they then cut. This was for the 4’s. For the 3’s who had not yet begun scissor skills, they used the other half of the cut paper leftover from the 4’s.

You’ll see I use plates of glue for my students. This reduces the amount of glue used and aids in eye-hand coordination.

adding snow

The next step was to create the tree trunk. I demonstrated then students dipped the long edge of a cardboard rectangle into brown paint. We talked about trees being tall so most students did the trees all the way to the top edge of the paper.

printing the trunk

Once they had the trunks, we swapped for green paint and they created their trees.

printing the green green printing green leaves

After the trees were printed, students could go back and add snow drops to their art.

adding snow drops         




Klimt Pattern Trees


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I have taught the same first day lesson for years. This year, I wanted to change things a bit so I introduced the students to Gutav Klimt in addition to my normal speech about elements of art and the different types of lines we can draw.


They were shown Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life painting and given a paper with an oval border already drawn.  I showed them several different ways to draw trees. I told them their art should not look like their neighbors.ROL Tatum TOL ron

There were three requirements: a tree trunk, the leaves or canopy of the tree, and a horizon line to show the ground.


They of course needed shapes, and lines to create patterns. They could paint their trees however they chose to.

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Giving Trees


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A project inspired by Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, the hundreds of paper tubes in my cupboards and a desire to change out the display in the glass case in the lobby.

The preschoolers painted the tubes brown. Then they stamped green paint on with bubble wrap (something else I have lots of). Once that was finished, they used their fingers to dot on apples.


I assembled them once they were dry. I used glue to hold the top of the tree to the trunk and used a stapler to hold the tree tops together.