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When we studied “Weather All Around Us” with Mother Goose Time, one of our weekly themes was Weather and Changing Seasons. This led to a day devoted to Summer, with a Creative Art project of a Cherry Tree. Well, it just so happens that we live, work and play in the Cherry Capitol of the United States. Cameron, one of our students, is the son and grandson of a cherry farming family, so it was a natural fit! LaCross Farms and Leelanau Fruit is a major contributor to the cherry industry, so we were excited for the children to learn more about the process a cherry goes through before it reaches the market. Not only did Cameron’s Dad visit, but he brought several types of cherry products to taste, showed us 2 videos from the LaCrossFarms Youtube channel and read us Hidden Cherries. Before Mr. Ben left, he continued to bless our class with books and lesson plans about farming. We talked about this topic for days to come, thanks to the hands-on experience the LaCross family provided.
To extend our theme even further, our Teacher Guide provided us with an Invitation to Create project titled, Cherry Tree. Our Creative Process involves 3 steps: 1. Discuss the photo of a cherry tree. The children were asked questions such as, “What are the parts of a tree that you can see in this photo?” “What do you see under the tree?” What do you see behind the tree?” “What do you notice about the shapes in the photo?” “What colors do you see?” 2. Allow the children to choose which products from the table they would like to use in their artwork. After a few moments, the children were asked, “What else would you like to add to your art?” Through rich dialogue and freedom to explore materials, the children are able to create their very own representation of a cherry tree. Children are individuals, and their art should reflect their unique ideas and style.