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Tree Ring Art

Create a work of art from the natural beauty of tree rings.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Integrate a science lesson plan about dendrochronology with an art lesson plan when students create art out of the natural beauty of tree rings.
    2. Introduce tree ring dating to the class. Have samples of tree ring circles available for the class to study and count.
    3. Have students create their own tree rings and turn them into artwork. Let students use their imagination and decide if they want to introduce color, use multiple circles, or cut the circles into different shapes.
    4. To create the artwork pictured, students draw a tree circle with Crayola® Multicultural Markers or Crayola Washable Markers. Color in each ring with Crayola Colored Pencils in a light and dark shade of color to symbolize the early season and late season growth.
    5. Cut out the tree circles with Crayola Scissors and mount them onto a piece of large construction paper with a Crayola Glue Stick.
  • Standards

    LA: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    MATH: Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions.

    MATH: Classify two-dimensional figures into categories based on their properties.

    SCI: Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.

    SCI: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

    SCI: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.

    VA: Collaboratively combine ideas to generate innovative ideas for creating art.

    VA: Interpret art by referring to contextual information, and analyzing relevant subject matter, visual elements, and use of media.

    VA: Explain how specific works of art or design impact our response to and appreciation of the natural and constructed world.

  • Adaptations

    Integrate math into the lesson plan by dating tree rings and then using addition and subtraction to create and solve problems. Encourage students to include problems that illustrate their growing knowledge of fractions.

    Students cut up and rearrange pieces creating puzzles and matching games. Students compare and contrast tree rings in tropical climates versus trees in colder climates.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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