It's "Tree"mendous!

 So I have been in my classroom preparing for back to school. I go back the first week in August and the kids start on August 12th. I like to have things ready, and we are heading to California between now and then for a softball tournament, so my summer is wrapping up quickly. Not much time left for all that I have to get done!!!!

Our school theme this year is "Climbing the Learning Tree", so I wanted to create a tree in my classroom. I have a large back wall that I am able to staple into, so it was the perfect place to "grow" a tree. 

Here is the finished product...

I had to purchase the brown roll paper, we were out of that color in my building. We did have green left, so I just tore off a piece and folded it up so when I cut the leaves I could cut several at a time. 

*A note about the brown roll paper- I found some at Hobby Lobby and got all the way to the register when I realized that it was brown on one side and white on the other. I crumpled and twisted the paper to give it the look of a trunk and I definitely wouldn't have wanted white on one side. I was able to find this paper (brown on both sides) at Mardel's. It was very reasonable (I think $6.99) and I was able to do the entire tree with one roll. 

Since I am a blogging newbie I didn't think about taking pictures of every step- I will remember that for next time. Instead, here are a few diagrams (using those nonfiction text features!). 
I unrolled the 12 feet of brown paper and then cut it into 3 long strips.


The next thing I did was to take the long strips and I scrunched them up and twisted them here and there. For my tree, I cut two of the long strips in half so that I had 4 six foot sections. To make the trunk of the tree I used three of the strips. Again... another diagram...

After stapling the bottom of all tree strips to the bulletin board (or wall), I took the outside two strips and made an "X" over the middle strip. It gave the tree more depth and a kind of gnarled look. I only did that once, and then just pulled and stapled the paper to make the trunk look as realistic as I could. Here's a close up of the trunk...


The next thing I did was to take the fourth six foot strip and I cut it in half to make the two larger branches coming out of the top of the tree. Then I took the last twelve foot strip and cut off sections to complete the rest of the branches, trying to get some smaller shoots off of the main branches.

The last step, and the step I THOUGHT would take the longest was the leaf step. I did fold a large sheet of roll paper so that I could cut several leaves at once and that was helpful. I cut about 32 leaves, thinking I would see how they looked before I cut a bunch and decided I didn't like them (I tend to do that often). I stapled up the initial 32 and decided I really liked the tree the way it looked! So, the leaves ended up being the easiest part! 

In all, this project took about 45minutes to an hour. Not too bad! I think I am going to hang some anchor charts around it and maybe a critter or two sitting on the branches. 

Happy Back to School!

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