Friday, September 11, 2009

Birdhouse and Paper Bird Art Lesson

Drawing a birdhouse is easy and satisfying for second graders. By combining some basic shapes, these little kids create a bird sanctuary complete with their very own feathered friend.
This lesson is fairly easy. It only requires two 40-minute sessions, but you could extend it to three classes by adding a more detailed background and more decorations to the bird.
Here's how we did it:

Step One: Drawing the birdhouse

Using an oil pastel (any color will do), make a dot at the center of the paper near the top. From the dot, draw two lines on an angle. This becomes the roof line. Make an "echo" line around the roof line so that the roof isn't just one line, but a shape. Draw a line from the roof down both sides. This becomes the side of the house. Next, draw the stand. It is shaped like a letter "T" but you can fancy it up by adding decorative brackets.
Add circles for the openings.
Step Two: Painting the Birdhouse

Set out a pre-mixed palette of paints. Have fun with your paint bottles. Add a few squirts of white to the yellow, orange to the red, yellow to the inventive! The art will thank you for it.Give the bottles a good shake and pour into muffin-style palettes.
Paint the roof, birdhouse and stand. Encourage the kids to add a sun, grass or flowers...whatever they wish. I asked the kids to keep the background white (for the sake of time) but the piece would look lovely with a few clouds and a blue sky. Your call.

Some kids chose to draw two birdhouses. Great! Have them follow the same steps...
Step Four: Adding the Black Line
Some days, I just forget my camera. This day was one of them. Set out small containers of watered down black tempera and small bristle brushes. Show the kids how to trace over all of their oil pastel lines. Most kids this age do not have the finesse to create perfect black lines, and nor should they! But they will learn that pressing too hard on the brush yields a fat line and holding the paintbrush lightly yields a thin line. If this step doesn't appeal to you, try outlining the birdhouse with a black oil pastel. Less messy with great impact.

Step Five: Creating the Bird
Now that the background is done, bring out a tray of pre-cut colored and printed papers. You will also need pencils, glue and scissors.
Do a direct line drawing of a bird...the simpler the better. Have the kids draw a bird on the back of the paper. Large or small...doesn't matter. Then, cut out the bird and glue it onto the background. Some children chose to cut out two birds and some made one large bird. Encourage it all!

The artwork shown in this post was created by Mrs. Hetrick's second grade class at Brandon School.


Sue said...

Another great lesson for my special needs kids. I will give it a go next term. Thanks :)

Toni said...

great lesson I may do this this coming week after one of our nature studies.

alejandra said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

cool idea! I just found your blog...I've been wandering through your old posts a little and wondered if you might have any suggestions for working with special ed students. I'm a parapro working with two high school students that have CP and when we go to art class the projects are way out of their ability range...they need more simple projects but I also don't want to be too childish as they are in high school now... Any ideas??? Thanks!!!

Patty Palmer said...

Hi Tracee,
One of these days I plan to add a star next to the projects that I feel works best with special needs kids. I have many inclusion kids streaming into the regular art class and I have noticed that some art lessons work better than others. Can you check back again?

Jennifer said...

I just finished this lesson with my 134 second graders! And every single one of them turned out great!!!! thanks for the idea. I love it.

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