K – Winter Trees

What an AWESOME project!! Here’s why:

  • it was challenging
  • it was FULL of educational lessons
  • IT HAD GLITTER!!!!!!!!!!

Kindergartners learned about spatial relationships. No I’m not saying “special” with a southern accept. Spatial. As in, space between objects within a composition. They learned about SPACE. In art, you can be talking about space two different ways:

  • Positive & Negative Space (anything tangible is positive space, all the space around the tangible objects is negative space)
  • Spatial relationships (foreground, middleground, background, the space from the front of a composition to the back of the composition)

Here is our concept for this lesson:

  • Relationships of objects in composition

And here is the objective:

  • Students will be able to identify the foreground, middle grounds, and background in a composition.
  • Students will apply that knowledge of spatial relationships, and paint a composition by mixing blue and white to show correct spatial relationships.
  • Students will then create a scene with winter trees in their composition to again show correct spatial relationships.

Here is the fun conversation I had with the kinderbabycuties:

Me: When you see an airplane in the sky, does it LOOK big or small to you?
Cuties: SMALL!
Me: Exactly! But, what about when you get on an airplane? Is it little itty bitty like it looks in the sky? Or is it big?
Cuties: BIG!
Me: Correct! So, what happened in the sky? Did I get Gru to use his shrink-ray  to shrink the airplane when it goes and flies to another city?
Cuties: Nooooooooooo!

So cute, they love it. So I explain how our eyes kinda play tricks on us. When objects are further away, they appear smaller. Then I had the whole class stand up, I picked 2 students who are the same height. I had them stand next to each other and one slowly walked to the other side of the room. Then the rest of the class used their use their thumb for reference on how small she looked, because she LOOKED like she was smaller than the other student – but the other person was still the same height. This is a little hard to explain, maybe next year I’ll snap a picture and blur faces out so you can see what I mean. Either way, I think it really drove home the point and the kids had fun. 🙂

Now I showed them the final example of what we were making. Here’s mine (By the way, I got this fantastic lesson idea from Deep Space Sparkle. I also entered it into a contest for $50 gift card to her website where I can get some more lessons!):


We talked about how the size of the trees gets smaller as their eyes travel to the back of the paper. I asked if they noticed any other way we know the small tree is in the background. The colors! Colors also fade the further back they go! So that’s why dark blue is in the foreground, medium blue is in the middleground, and light blue is in the background. Aaaaaand the colors of the trees also changed. Dark green is in the foreground, regular green is in the middleground, and light green is in the background.

Day One: I had pre-folded the paper for the kids to make them more succesful at keeping the colors where they should stay. I gave them blue, and showed them to paint with an up and down motion, kind of like taly marks all along the bottom section. Next they got some white paint, filled in the entire middle section, and lastly they got white paint but used the same paintbrushes because they still had some remaining blue paint on them – and that made a very light blue for the top. That was all we had time for!

Day Two: We cut out our green trees (I gave them different sized paper to make sure they did this correctly), then they painted watered down glue on, and sprinkled glitter on (THEMSELVES!!), and lastly, they used a q-tip to paint white snow all over their scenes.

Gosh, I really did love this project. I was so excited to write about it and share it with you guys, I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked. So I’ll be adding to it later!


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