CHERRY BLOSSOM SPRING – Contrast, Texture, Mixed Media

Students create a mixed media picture of cherry blossoms (sakura) using construction paper and melted crayon on an overhead transparency as they learn about Japanese traditions and the change of matter (wax) from solid to liquid.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 3


Language Arts
Visual Arts


contrast deciduous liquid matter shape texture


Crayola Crayons - white, pink Crayola Construction Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") - brown, black, white Crayola Washable Glue Sticks Crayola Doodle Pad - Newsprint Paper - 1 piece per student Iron Parchment Paper Write-On Overhead Transparencies - 1 per student

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CHERRY BLOSSOM SPRING – Contrast, Texture, Mixed Media - Step One

Step One

  1. Cut out strips of construction paper to use for the trunk and branches of your tree.
  2. Use a glue stick to glue the strips of paper to the overhead transparency.
  3. Make sure you use lots of glue.
  4. Press the paper onto the transparency and gently rub over it with your fingers to flatten it. 
CHERRY BLOSSOM SPRING – Contrast, Texture, Mixed Media - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Use white and pink crayons for the blossoms on your tree.
  2. Remove the paper from the crayons.
  3. Use the blade of a scissors to scrape off small shavings of crayon onto a piece of newsprint paper.
  4. Make about 1/3 cup of mixed shavings.
CHERRY BLOSSOM SPRING – Contrast, Texture, Mixed Media - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Sprinkle the crayon shavings over the branches of the tree.
CHERRY BLOSSOM SPRING – Contrast, Texture, Mixed Media - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the transparency.
  2. Make sure it covers the crayon shavings.
CHERRY BLOSSOM SPRING – Contrast, Texture, Mixed Media - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Set the iron to low.
  2. Gently iron over the parchment paper until you see the crayon shavings melt.
  3. Remove the iron.
  4. Gently remove the parchment paper.
CHERRY BLOSSOM SPRING – Contrast, Texture, Mixed Media - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Cut 4 strips of construction paper about 2.5 cm x 29 cm (1" x 11").
  2. Glue the paper strips around the outer edges of your picture to make a frame.
  3. Choose a contrasting colour of construction paper for the background of your picture.
  4. Cut the paper to be the same size as your picture.
  5. Apply glue to the outer edges of the paper and glue your picture to it.
  6. Gently touch the surface of your picture.
  7. What textures do you feel?


Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • describe the appearance of cherry blossoms;
  • compose a mixed media picture of a cherry tree in spring;
  • explain how heat affects wax;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


Have students:

  • compare the changes of deciduous trees using the The Four Seasons lesson plan available on this site;
  • explore states of matter using a variety of materials to understand that: 
    - heat can transform a solid into a liquid and a liquid into a gas;
    - cold can transform a gas into a liquid and a liquid into a solid.


  1. Gather, and make available books about spring/cherry blossoms, for example, Sakura's Cherry Blossoms, by Robert Paul Weston, and Misa Saburi; Cherry Blossoms Say Spring, by Jill Esbaum; Pinkalicious: Cherry Blossom, by Victoria Kann; I Am Spring: A Book About Spring for Kids, by Rebecca McDonald, and James McDonald; And Then It's Spring, by Julie Fogliano and Erin E. Stead; Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring, by Kenard Pak; and The Spring Book, by Todd Parr. 
  2. Gather, and make available books about matter, for example, Change It!: Solids, Liquids, Gases and You, by Adrienne Mason; What Is the World Made Of? All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases, by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld; Joe-Joe the Wizard Brews Up Solids, Liquids, and Gases, by Eric Braun; and Solids, Liquids and Gases, by the Ontario Science Centre.
  3. Download images of cherry blossoms from the Internet, for example,
    Queen Elizabeth Park - Vancouver
  4. Download and display the Texture and Contrast Posters available on this website.
  5. Create about ⅓ cup of pink and white crayon shavings.
  6. If possible, take students out for a walk among trees to view the trunks.
  7. Have students draw small sketches of details of the trunks of trees they see, either on their walk or from viewing the images of trees.


  1. Conduct a read-aloud with a book such as Pinkalicious: Cherry Blossom, by Victoria Kann focussing on the excitement of the festival and Japanese traditions.
    - in Japan, cherry blossoms are called sakura
    - there are thousands of cherry trees in Japan
    - cherry blossoms symbolize spring and a time of renewal and remind people that life is precious
    - blossoms last for about 2 weeks
    - in Japan, people like to have cherry blossom parties and picnics underneath the cherry blossoms
    - this custom is called hanami
    hanami literally means 'watching blossoms'
    - this is a tradition that began at least a thousand years ago
    - Japanese governments often give cherry trees to countries as an act of friendship
  2. Discuss festivals in Canada.
    - Toronto - High Park has a number of cherry blossom trees that were first given to the country by the Japanese ambassador to Canada in 1959.
    - Vancouver - Queen Elizabeth Park - every spring they have a Japanese cultural fair, a concert known as the Cherry Jam, and a big picnic under the trees.
    - Learn more about Vancouver's cherry blossoms at Cotton Candy Trees.
  3. View and discuss the images of the cherry trees.
    - overall shape of the tree with blossoms
    - colour of the blossoms
    - shapes of the tree trunks
    - the shapes of the trunks
    - how branches narrow as they go up the tree
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Describe the appearance of cherry blossoms.
  2. Compose a mixed media picture of a cherry tree in spring.
  3. Explain how heat affects wax.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - cut wide and thin strips of paper 
    - chosen pink and white crayons for the blossoms of my tree
    - scraped a small amount of crayon shavings
    - glued cut out paper shapes flat onto a transparency
    - glued strips of paper to look like branches on a tree trunk
    - melted crayon to look like blossoms
    - glued strips of paper around my picture to make a frame
    - glued the transparency to a piece of coloured paper
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Display the pictures as a body of work and gather students to view and discuss it.
  2. Ask them to choose a picture to talk about. Share: 
    - the things that are especially effective in the picture and why;
    - words that describe the various textures in the picture;
    - what happened when heat was applied to the wax crayon - make connections to the states of matter;

    - what they found satisfying about making their picture and why.
  3. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their pictures – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the picture, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – Blossoms_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – Blossoms_self-assessment.pdf)