Painted Christmas Tree Cards: Art Lesson for Early Elementary

Updated on December 3, 2018
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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

Painted Christmas Tree Card Art Lesson for Early Elementary
Painted Christmas Tree Card Art Lesson for Early Elementary

This lesson focuses on painting a winter Christmas tree card. I used this plan while teaching a weekly 45-minute art class for children in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. My lessons usually teach art concepts with a focus on artists, but for holidays, we create fun-themed crafts. The lessons provide a variety of art techniques to make each project engaging & memorable. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, homeschool, after-school program, or co-op!

Paste the inside of the card

1. Give each student a sheet of blank white copier paper and have them glue it onto a sheet of black construction paper. Be generous with the glue stick. Try to make sure that black is showing all around the borders and no white is peeking off the edge of the black. This will be the inside of the card. It's white so you can easily write on it.

You will need per student:

  • glue stick
  • sheet of white copier paper
  • sheet of black construction paper

Fold the paper to make the card

2. Have them line up the corners and then smooth out the edge to make a crease in the back. Help students who need help lining up the corners correctly. Make sure the opening of the card is facing the student.

Create the snowstorm

3. Dip a larger paintbrush in white paint and streak it across the paper in a diagonal line from the top all the way off the paper to the other side. Keep doing this until you don’t have any paint left. Then dip your paintbrush in again and start all over again. This is called the dry brush technique. Try to cover the entire paper but try to not go over the same place more than one time. You don’t want thick paint yet.

You will need:

  • a larger paintbrush
  • white tempera or poster paint
  • disposable plate or other item to use as a palate

Paint the moon

4. Dip your paintbrush in the white paint again and then make a nice, thick circle in the upper corner to create a full moon.

Add 3 hills of snow

5. We’re going to make 3 hills of white snow. Make a quarter circle on the right side and quarter circle on the left side. Make sure to paint all the way off the paper. Then make your middle hill by starting in the middle of one side and making a white rainbow across to the middle of the other hill. Paint all the hills thickly with white paint to hide all the black paper.

Shade the hills

6. Give each student a small amount of blue paint & have them swirl it into some (not all) the white paint. Don’t mix it too much. We don’t want light blue. We want to marble the colors so we can still see dark blue & white. Paint this across the tops of each hill. Make sure to paint it on the hill, not above the hill. Do the right & left hills first and then the middle hill. This provides shading and allows for us to notice the distinct hills.

You will need:

  • Blue tempera or poster paint

Dab in trees

7. Add a small amount of green paint to a different corner of the white paint.

  • Switch paintbrushes to a smaller paintbrush. Swirl the colors together 1 time. You don’t want light green. You want a barely white marbled with green.
  • Dab/stamp/pounce the green on the right hill in the shape of a small triangle pointing upward. This will be our first tree. Make another small tree. Make sure they start on the white hill, not on top of the hill.
  • Add smaller trees to the left hill. Remember to dab/stamp/pounce -- not paint.
  • Create a larger tree on the middle hill. Do the outline of the triangle and then fill it in.

You will need:

  • green tempera or poster paint
  • a smaller paintbrush, like the kind that comes with a watercolor paint set

Dot with snowflakes

8. Use a toothpick and/or the back of the smaller paintbrush to dot in snowflakes using the white paint.

You will need:

  • toothpicks (optional)

Decorate your Christmas tree

9. Make 7-10 dots of liquid Elmer's glue to the large Christmas tree in the center. Place sequins, shaped confetti, or glitter on each of the dots.

You will need:

  • liquid Elmer's glue
  • sequins, shaped confetti, or glitter

10. While students are adding their snowflakes, take a photo of each student with their masterpiece.

11. (optional) If desired, pass out blank paper for students to paint whatever they'd like using the leftover paint.

You will need:

  • blank white paper

*This art lesson idea came from .*

© 2018 Shannon


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