Bonsai Tree

Term: 2 Year: 2013

We made Bonsai trees to develop an appreciation of Japanese culture, as part of our whole school Studies of Asia.

We used the Internet to research information about Bonsai plants. We discovered that Bonsai trees first appeared in China and that the Art of Bonsai was developed in Japan in 1100’s.

Bonsai means plant in a pot.  Bonsai are miniature trees grown in shallow pots that look like a large tree as it is seen in nature. The trees are keep tiny by cutting the roots and shaping the branches.

There are many designs used in Bonsai art, for example; Slanting, Upright, Cascade, Broom, Group planting.


First, we used clay to make a coil or pinch pot. Then Mrs Matiszak had them fired.

Second, we explored and sketched trees in the school ground and then we looked at Bonsai designs on the Internet and discussed their similarities and differences. We chose a design for our own model.

Third, we painted our pots to make them look interesting.

Next we put polystyrene in the pots. We explored how to twist and join pipe cleaners or wire to form the trunk and branches of the tree. Once we were happy with the shape we pushed it into the polystyrene base.

After that we used a variety of different materials; foam, felt, beads and wool fleece to create the foliage.

Finally we covered the polystyrene with plasticine and added rocks to make the Bonsai tree look like in a natural setting.

Slava Matiszak
Art Teacher
Moreland Primary School
Suitable for level 3