We are moving our free videos to YouTube and retiring student functionality on 7/15. Learn more

Lesson plan

Labs: Launch Stage - Create

teaches Common Core State Standards SL.K.3 http://corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/SL/K/3
teaches Common Core State Standards SL.K.6 http://corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/SL/K/6

Labs: Launch Stage - Create

Learning target: 

  • I can use a variety of materials to create a tree trunk and branches.


  • Students closely examine different materials for 3-D art and practice making 3-D trees.

  • Students explore how to use a combination of Play-Doh, real parts of trees and plants, and paper leaves to create 3-D representations of trees.

In advance:


  • Review the Labs song.
  • Post: Focus question (optional).

Setting Goals 

  • Post: Guiding question and learning target(s) for the Lab students will be launching that day (see detailed plans for each Lab on the pages that follow).

In the Lab

  • Collect twigs and other small tree materials from around your school and community for students to use in their 3-D tree sculptures.

  • Create a 3-D Play-Doh Tree Model to use during the Launch stage of the Create Lab (see supporting materials).

  • Based on classroom setup and available technology, determine the best way to display the 3-D Play-Doh Tree Model and pictures, and how to model manipulating the Play-Doh, sticking in twigs and branches, and gluing on paper leaves so all students can observe the process.

  • Provide precut leaves of different shapes and sizes for students to use. Leave paper for others to cut if they desire or if they need a different size or shape of leaf.

  • Prepare four workstations by placing precut leaves of different shapes and sizes (as well as additional construction paper for students to cut), scissors, liquid glue, twigs, and Play-Doh at each workstation.

  • Consider:

    • Showing pictures of 3-D clay or Play-Doh art from various artists or students as alternative models.
    • Making homemade Play-Doh instead of using store-bought Play-Doh.
    • Designating a space in the classroom for each student’s work in progress and leftover materials.
    • Forming new lab groups based on students’ progress, strengths, and needs as exhibited in the Module 3 Labs.

Reflect on Learning

  • Post: Sentence frames or picture clues for any reflection questions you will use regularly (optional).



  • Labs song (one to display)

  • Text for Storytime (chosen by teacher)

Setting Goals

  • Labs notebook (new; one per student and one for teacher modeling)

  • Pencils (one per student)

  • Learning target(s) (one to display for each Lab; see Launch Stage: At-a-Glance for the specific targets for each Lab)

Create Lab

  • 3-D Play-Doh Tree Model (new; teacher-created; one for teacher modeling)

  • 3-D Play-Doh Tree Model photographs (for teacher reference)

  • Tree images (one set per workstation)

  • Play-Doh (one container per student and one container for teacher modeling)

  • Twigs (one set per workstation and one set for teacher modeling)

  • Liquid glue (one bottle for teacher modeling and a few per workstation)

  • Precut leaves (one set per workstation and one set for teacher modeling)

  • Construction paper (shades of green; one pile per workstation)

  • Scissors (one pair per student)

Reflecting on Learning

  • Labs song (one to display)

  • Labs notebook (one for teacher modeling and one per student)