I teach "trees" to fourth grade every year and they love it! I teach them a
"formula" and explain it like this:
__ + __= 10
__ - __= 10
__ x __= 10
(I do the divide symbol as well - just can't find it on the keyboard!) I
explain to the kids that these are all "formulas" to arrive at the number
10. There is NO correct answer to put in the blanks. Now drawing trees is
much the same - I can show them a "formula" that will end with them drawing
a respectable tree. As soon as weather is permitting we will take a
mini-field trip and we will draw trees from observation. They love being
able to draw more realistically, and it is so hard to teach them
observational skills in 25 minutes! I also will not allow "lollipop trees"
after showing them how to draw. In an elementary setting the kids need to
feel successful and what better way! I always teach using modeling - very
few "creativity lessons", although I do allow free draw time occassionally.
> O.K.... I knew I would get blown out of the woods for giving such specific
> directions! But listen! Sometimes I think it is valid to go step by step
> with little kids. They loved this lesson. You could see the lights going
> in their heads as I went step by step. In the final project, their trees
> didn't all look exactly a like at all. We did look at real trees outside
> window. It was too cold to go outside in March in PA. They said, Oh, now I
> see. I think it is o.k. to teach some lessons such as this. Then let them
> take this and go with it. These type of lessons are a jumping off point.