This stunning project is a keeper! It's a two-day project. On day one, I passed out a white sheet of paper with six circles photocopied on it. I told them to draw/paint a sphere in one of the circles. I gave NO INSTRUCTION! I told them is was like a pretest; I wanted to see what they knew about making a flat circle look 3-diminetional. There was lots of moaning and frustration. After they were done, we looked a pictures of spheres and made some observations. They did a great job of noticing that a picture of a sphere has highlights and shadows. Then I taught them how to use oil pastels to create a white highlight and use watercolors to create shadows. They painted six spheres, but we only used the best three for the final project.
The next art class, we observed some real spruce branches and pine branches and some pictures of branches. Students noticed that pine needles are longer, grouped in bunches, and that there are bare spots on the brances. Spruce branches have short needles on the whole branch. They chose one species to draw on black paper with oil pastels.
When they were done drawing the branches, students cut out their three best ornaments, glued them on, and added hangers with gold or silver oil pastels.