Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Parts of a Tree Collage

Our school district uses the Creative Curriculum for all our preschool classrooms.  This is a new curriculum for me.  I am finding that I like it, but it will probably take me all of this year to fully utilize all the resources and to get a handle on how to best implement it with my littles.  One thing I do really like is that there are unit studies which span approximately six weeks.  This allows you to really immerse in a topic and to explore many different aspects of the topic in depth.  We are currently about two weeks into our study of trees. 

During one of the "Investigations" of our unit, we introduce the children to the three main parts of a tree:  roots, trunk and crown (which includes the branches, twigs and leaves).  There are several projects suggested in the curriculum itself, but I came up with my own collage project to reinforce the concept of the parts of a tree.   Using yarn for roots, real twigs for trunks, and crumpled tissue paper for the crown, my students made their own three-dimensional "trees".  This project was a good way for me to assess their understanding of the vocabulary of this unit as I was able to point to the parts of their collage and ask them to name each part.

While the academic skills of naming the parts of a tree was a major focus of this art project, many other skills were practiced during this activity.  For example, for the littles with fine motor issues, the process of squeezing glue to put onto the paper is a hand and finger-strengthening exercise.  Additionally, carefully placing small pieces of yarn for the roots works on pincer grasp and using the finger muscles.  Crumpling squares of tissue paper into balls also works on those skills.  When you stop and think about it, it's kind of amazing all the various learning that takes place within a simple art project.  

Please enjoy the photo gallery below.  It is so fun and interesting to see the different variations of this project.  I just love littles art projects!!  SO MUCH!!!

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