We started by drawing and then cutting out a tree silhouette (we used black construction paper trimmed to 8.5 x 11 size). As I'm integrating poetry into each of our art projects this year, I launched into a mini-lesson about concrete poetry. We brainstormed a list of words and phrases students could use, then they filled their trees with concrete poetry. We used sparkle gel pens to write our poetry (they show up well on the black construction paper - and I LOVE a little sparkle in our art).
I then showed the students some images of the Northern Lights. Although my students live "in the country" up here in Ontario, most have never seen the Northern Lights. We then took a second piece of black construction paper (also trimmed to 8.5 x 11 size). They did a quick trace of their tree silhouette on the new piece of construction paper, then started blending chalk colours to represent the northern lights. Students had to "colour and blend" in an upwards motion to really get the effect. When students were satisfied with their backgrounds, they glued their tree silhouette onto their background. After laminating (that chalk is MESSY!!!), we stood back and admired our masterpieces. (Only a handful finished up today, but most are just about done).