This is a great project to do as you study the Northeast Region of the United States. To celebrate the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, students paint a beautiful spray of cherry blossoms. This could also be done during a science unit on plants.
colored pencils--brown, yellow, light green
9 x 12 construction paper in a "sky" color--light blue, light green, lilac
tempera paint--magenta, white
paint brushes (size 12 is a good size to use)
1. View photos of the cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC. Look at close ups to see the petal shapes and centers.
2. Have students make a simple Y shape outline for the branch, going from edge to edge. Add a few more diagaonal lines to break up any big negative spaces. Don't color in the branches yet.
3. Using the brown colored pencil, add a dot for the center of each flower along side the branches, not on the branches. Stagger the dots so there will be room for the petals. Make just a few centers. You can add more later if you need more blossoms.
4. Put a small squirt of white paint and a small squirt of magenta paint side by side on a paper plate. Swirl the paint together slightly so you get many values of color on the plate.
5. Load the paintbrush and use the side of it as a stamp to press petal shapes around but not covering the center dots. Leave a little space between each petal if possible. The end hairs of the paintbrush always face out, away from the center dot. Make about 4 or 5 petals around each center. Keep the brush loaded with paint.
6. When the paint has dried, color the branches with brown colored pencil. Add yellow and green rays coming out of the center of each blossom.
This project is adapted from a Lesson Plan Starter at artsonia.com.
The first book has beautiful photographs. The last one tells why the cherry trees were planted in Washington, DC.