Lesson Plan: Snowflakes, Moons, and Cherry Blossoms
Yushusha Isshi, Japan
Edo period (1800s)
In this lesson, children will use their imaginations and movement to portray visual elements on the Sword Guard with Crescent Moon. They will also learn about snowflakes and have an opportunity to make their own snowflakes.
21st Century Learning Skills Addressed:
- Critical Thinking and Reasoning
- Information Literacy
2009 Colorado Academic Standards Primary Area Addressed:
- Observe and Learn to Comprehend
- Invent and Discover to Create
- Relate and Connect to Transfer
Additional 2009 Colorado Academic Standards Addressed:
- Oral Expression and Listening
Length of Lesson
By using movement to portray what they see, children engage multiple areas of their brain, allowing for greater understanding and retention of information. Incorporating movement at this age also helps children develop gross motor skills, while making snowflakes allows them to then work on fine motor skills. Imagining themselves to be cherry blossoms, snowflakes, or the moon is fun and strengthens abstract thinking.
Students will be able to:
- use their imaginations to inspire movement;
- identify the blossoms, snowflakes, moon, and clouds on the sword guard; and
- use fine motor coordination to fold a piece of paper and cut with scissors.
- Assorted music and CD/MP3 player
- Natural or artificial flower blossoms/petals
- Photos or videos of snowflakes falling and television or projector to display
- One blanket or coat for every child
- 2-3 sheets of printer/photocopy paper for every student (construction paper can be too thick)
- One pair of safety scissors for every student
- Twine or yarn to string the students’ snowflakes
- About the Art sheet on Sword Guard with Crescent Moon (contains images of snowflakes) (found at the end of the lesson plan)
- One color copy of the sword guard for every four children, or the ability to project the image onto a wall or screen
- Warm-up: Play about ten seconds of various types of music. Have the children dance around to the rhythm of the music. Encourage them to have fun and move in whatever way the music makes them feel like moving.
- Using either the real or artificial blossoms or petals you’ve brought in, reach your arm up high and let the blossoms drop to the ground. Repeat a couple of times. Ask the children to move their bodies like the petals dropping to the ground. Play some more music and allow them some time to dance like the petals.
- Now show the children pictures or videos of snowflakes moving in the sky. Ask them to move and dance like the snowflakes. How do the petals and snowflakes fall differently?
- Show students the pictures of the Sword Guard with Crescent Moon. Have them point out the blossoms and then the snowflakes. (They might think the snowflakes look like stars so help them identify the snowflakes.)
- Tell the children the name of the piece. Can they find the moon? Why is it hard to see? (Hiding behind the clouds) Using blankets or coats, ask the children to hide like the moon; model how they might peak out from behind the coat like the moon behind the clouds.
- Refer back to the snowflakes. Using the paper you have provided, help the children fold the paper and cut carefully with safety scissors. Unfold the snowflakes and string across the room.
- Do a snowflake dance one last time for fun to end the lesson.