Lesson Objectives:  Students will focus on the details of line while practicing the different properties of chalk pastels. Students will create a realistic picture of a tree using mixed media.

Time Required: 1 hour

Artist: Grandma Moses, Pull BoysA Wish to be a Christmas Tree, by Colleen Monroe (book)


9”x 12” Light blue construction paper

Chalk pastels

1” Flat paint brush

White paint

Silver glitter


Review the illustrations in the book and notice the various elements; line, shape, colors, and value.  Notice what colors are in the sky and how the snow rests on top of the branches.


  1. Demonstrate all the steps of the project, starting with how to use and blend the pastels to create the background.
  2. Demonstrate how to draw a “skeleton” of a tree, centered on the page and leaving room at the bottom to paint the ground.  The skeleton will determine the size and shape of the tree.  Then using a sharp edge of the pastel, add the needles, without blending to preserve the detail.  Explain how different types of trees have different size needles.
  3. Using a small amount of white paint in a shallow dish, dab just the end of the brush into the paint and tap it along the top of the tree branches to create a row of dots resembling snow (this technique is called stippling).  Explain that the chalk will mix into the paint if they apply too much pressure, or stroke the brush.
  4. Using the remaining paint, the students will paint the snow ground cover.
  5. Quickly sprinkle glitter over the wet paint.