This project started out as an idea for Pi Day, when one of my principals requested that all teachers teach a Pi-Day project on March 14. (Get it? 3/14 = 3.14? Ha!) But Pi is a little difficult for my K-2 students to understand, so I just explained that Pi is a special number used to measure circles and that they would learn more about when they got older, but we would make art with circles in honor of Pi Day.
I asked students to draw black branches on light grey paper, demonstrating how branches start out thick and get thin. To learn how to cut circles, I gave students squares and showed them how to cut the corners off in a curve to get a nice circle. Then we ruffled the circles by wrapping them around our fingers and gluing just the center down.
I also used this lesson to talk about the Washington DC cherry trees that were given as a gift from Japan, and about the Japanese Sakura (cherry blossom) festivals. This lesson starts out winter and ends Spring, going from monochromatic to colorful!