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Do Something about…
School Violence Art Curricula Unit
Day 6: Tree of Decisions


Art, Social Studies  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Do Something about…
School Violence Art Curricula Unit
Day 6: Tree of Decisions
By – Do Something, Inc. /
Primary Subject – Art
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies, Language Arts
Grade Level – 9-12

Do Something about…
School Violence
Art Curricula
15-Day Unit

The following lesson is the sixth lesson of a 15-day
School Violence Art Curricula Unit from Do Something, Inc.
Other lessons in this unit are as follows:

Day 1: Shape and Feeling
Students explore the use of abstract shapes and the feelings they evoke
Day 2: The Emotional Aspects Of Color
The students learn about the emotional and physiological affects of color
Day 3: Jackson Pollack – Lines Convey Emotion
Jackson Pollack – Students explore the use of line to convey emotion
Day 4: Goya and Picasso – Shapes And Composition
Goya and Picasso – The students w explore two paintings and their use of shapes
Day 5: Power Of Language
Students will explore the power of words in art
Day 6: Tree Of Decisions
(See next lesson.)
Students explore different choices and outcomes and use the branching pattern
Day 7: Conversations And Arguments With Lines
Students learn to use visual language to have a conversation
Day 8: Keith Haring Figures Part I – Conflict Resolution
Students work together to create a mural modeling cooperation and conflict resolution
Day 9: Keith Haring Figures Part II
Day 10: Keith Haring Figures Part III
Day 11: Keith Haring Figures Part V
Day 12: Safe Carriers Part I
Students use modern packaging materials to create a safe place
Day 13: Safe Carriers Part II
Day 14: Safe Carriers Part III
Day 15: Final Project
Students create artwork based on their knowledge of line, shape, color, words and emotion


More student resources for this cause are at:


For more Service-Learning Curricula check out:

Day 6: Tree of Decisions


    Students will explore different choices and their outcomes in a visual format and use the branching pattern to follow choices and outcomes.


  1. Introduce students to the branching pattern that is found in trees and other natural patterns – river deltas, leaves, etc. Show how a line splits in two (vocabulary: Bifurcate) and then splits again to create a growth pattern which is found in trees. A good branching resource for teachers:
  2. Discuss other factors that affect the growth of trees in nature: wind, weather, light source, other trees, lightening. What else can they think of?
  3. Demonstrate the growth pattern of different types of trees and how their growth is changed by some of these factors. What about roots?
  4. Discuss the use of tree imagery in literature. Do they know of any examples of trees being used as metaphors in literature? (e.g. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
  5. Ask the students to think of a situation involving safety in school where they have had to make a difficult decision. For example: Was a friend being bullied and did the student have to choose to ignore or defend them? Did they know about a weapon at school and have to decide whether or not to tell someone? Choose examples that fit your school’s population.
  6. The students should begin by drawing the situation at the bottom of the page and having a ‘trunk’ lead up the page from it. Their two choices and the outcomes: i.e. ignore bullying or defending someone will branch off of this trunk. Ask them to use their imaginations and follow each branch splitting, making choices and following each possible outcome as far as they can go. Ask them to make their trees as big and full as possible, in other words to take the situations as far as they can.
  7. After the students have explored their decisions and outcomes as far as they can, ask them to decide what kind of tree they have and what different factors have affected its growth? (As in number two…)
  8. Have them draw their trees using whatever media you choose: pencils, watercolors, markers, colored pencils, collage…
  9. Ask them to consider including text as well. How would they write some of these thoughts and include them in the image? How could this make the drawing stronger and fuller in meaning? What are some innovative ways of incorporating words? (They could use the text as the limbs; the leaves could hold writing…)
  10. After the students have completed their drawings, discuss how this made them think about the choices they make in life. How do their values affect these choices? How can they use these drawings to make others aware of the choices they have?

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