Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cherry Blossom Art and Writing Projects!

Did you know that April 27th marks the centennial celebration of Japan's giving of the Cherry Blossom trees to America?  What a great opportunity to touch on friendship, landmarks, and Spring! This is perfect timing for us because we just welcomed a new friend to our classroom.  He just so happens to be from Japan! 

We have focused our study around Corkey Hay DeSimone's Cherry Blossom Friends.  I was first introduced to this book by my friend, Cheryl, at Primary Graffiti.  She has an amazing packet to go along with this unit! Click the picture to see her unit and how she has used it in her classroom!

If you have access to Discovery Education, make sure to check out this video to go along with your study.  It is short and sweet, but gives a good overview of the importance of the tree to the Japanese.

Because our new friend has very limited English, my class focused heavily on the friendship part of this unit.  We talked about how different people (or countries) can form friendships despite their differences.  We compared and contrasted our own experiences with what we learned about the history of The United States and Japan.  We brainstormed and then expressed our thoughts through writing.
Click the image to download the writing template.

Today my kids created beautiful artwork to go along with their writing.  We also included Cheryl's mini book from her unit as part of our finished project.

We used the bottoms of empty 2-liter bottles to "stamp" the 5-petal blossom prints.  {This also reinforced our latest Earth Day discussion of reusing and recycling. Bonus!}

A friend of mine came up with the neat idea of stamping the blossoms using the bottom of lettuce.  Brilliant! Maybe we will use that trick next time.  Thanks, Kim! :)

We had a blast with this project today.  My kiddos managed to keep themselves in control even though we had to paint on the floor! (The art paper was too big for our desks...)  I think they were just so glad to be taking a break from test prep.  Our TCAP test is next week! Yikes!


  1. They turned out so cute. I've seen this project on pinterest and have been very curious about it. I'm glad to see it in action. I love meeting you the other day. can't wait for another get together.

  2. Such a great idea! I am so glad I found your post! I am 30 min. from DC and didn't know this was the centennial! Thanks for sharing...I will just have to do this too!

    One Teacher's Take

  3. Mary, your pictures are beautiful! I love the colors!!! I wish I were closer to Tenn so that I could have visited too! Are you planning any trips this summer? I'm planning to go to the conference in VEGAS!!! =)


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