Barking Up the Right Tree

Barking Up the Right Tree lesson plan

Explore and display textures of tree bark in a patterned arrangement of positive and negative space.

  • 1.

    Discuss the relevance of texture in design with students. Have students measure and cut at least eight 6-inch (15 cm) squares of construction paper. To do texture rubbings, have students peel the paper wrappers from Crayola® Multicultural Crayons.

  • 2.

    Take students outside to find several different textures of tree bark or bring several examples of tree bark into the classroom. Have students make crayon rubbings with various colors of crayons. Try different pressures and color combinations.

  • 3.

    Students select at least six of the squares. Have them arrange the squares in an original repetitive pattern. Cut shapes from the other two squares to make more intricate patterns. Use positive and negative shapes (shapes remaining when a positive shape is cut out and removed). Discuss the relevance of positive and negative space in design. Students should experiment to find the design that is most interesting.

  • 4.

    Students glue finished designs to a larger piece of paper for display, or create a class mural.

Standards

  • LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • LA: Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.
  • SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools.
  • SS: Interpret, use, and distinguish various representations of the ear, such as maps, globes, and photographs.
  • SS: Describe and speculate about physical system changes, such as seasons, climate and weather, and the water cycle.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

Adaptations

  • Students research information about their local community or state, including types of trees, plants, and flowers that are indigenous to the area. With respect to trees, have students investigate the parts of trees and the varying functions performed by tree bark. Have students use Crayola Colored Pencils to sketch the anatomy of a tree and label all significant parts. Encourage students to create a second tree bark rubbing from each of the local trees on a 3" x 3" piece of construction paper. Each rubbing is to be labeled with the name of the type of tree it belongs to.
  • Looking at trees that are indigenous to their community and/or state, students investigate where else in their country or continent they would find these types of trees. Students use a map of their state, country, or continent to denote locations of the same type of tree. Brainstorm: Why are these trees able to survive and thrive in these geographical areas? Students prepare an electronic or in-person presentation that summarized their research and includes student digital photos of their local trees, their bark rubbings.