According to the legend of George Washington and the cherry tree, the young Washington could not tell a lie. While the story was most likely fabricated, it is a popular way to teach about the first president to elementary-level students. Students can create this cherry tree with colored tissue paper and brown paint as they learn about President Washington.




What You Need:

  • Red and green tissue paper
  • Brown paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • 9- by 12-inch sky-blue construction paper, one sheet per student
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencils
  • Crayons, markers, colored pencils, or pastels in assorted colors

What You Do:

  1. Before class, cut the green and red tissue paper in 1.5-inch squares. Store the squares inside plastic bags to keep them together.
  2. Have your students lay a forearm on top of the blue construction paper and spread their fingers. Help them use a pencil to trace their forearm and fingers on the blue construction paper. This will form the tree trunk and the tree branches.
  3. Have your students use the brown paint and paintbrushes to paint inside their arm tracing to color the tree trunk and branches. Set the paper aside to dry.
  4. Once the paint is dry, have your students crinkle the tissue paper squares and attach them to the tree branches with glue.
  5. Have your students continue placing squares of tissue paper on the tree, mixing the colors, until the tree is relatively full.
  6. Allow your students to use crayons, markers, colored pencils, or pastels to further decorate the page.