Monday, November 22, 2010

Stained Glass "Y" Trees

One thing I learned in my internship was to break drawings down into a way that the youngest kids can understand them. This is a project I did with my first graders in teaching them to draw trees. On my "No No Board" I tell them that they are not allowed to draw "broccoli trees" but never really give them an alternative to drawing those distasters (until now!)

The great part about teaching the kids to make a bare tree is that they can do it all using the uppercase y (Y) and lowercase y (y). This takes the stress off the kids that are even the MOST intimidated about drawing in the first place (because these trees are ALWAYS successful!!!!)
I did this with a 12x12 sheet of white paper. Using crayon, I had the kids draw a HUGE uppercase Y on their paper. This would be the trunk and the main branches. We thickened them up a bit. Then, using smaller and smaller Y's we filled up the tree branches with sticks and twigs. They LOVED this and of course I did too, but they needed some color.

I showed the kids some examples of stained glass and how the thick black leading between the pieces of glass made the colors pop. I told them that their trees reminded me of some stained glass. Of course then they all wanted to make their project a bit more colorful! We added watercolor paint to each large section and they were amazed at how the crayon created a "fence" and didn't allow the paint to cross over.
This is a great, colorful fall project that the students are proud of!
(Side note- you could also do this for winter, with cool colors of paint between the branches!)

1 comment:

  1. What a great way for young children to learn how to draw trees.

    I will use this idea in my class.
    Thank you for posting