Art Lesson Plan: World of Birds
A Lesson plan to teach students all about birds while creating a very unique mixed-media collage.
Grade Level: 3rd – 6th grade
Time Required: 3 45-min. class periods
Brushes – round and flat
Copies of sheet music
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION’S WORLD OF BIRDS by Kim Kurki 2014
This wonderfully illustrated and informative book introduces 9 -12-year-old students to more than 120 different species of birds in their native environments. Inspired by the beauty and magic of nature, in this lesson plan students will learn collage techniques to create a very special piece of artwork celebrating Spring.
Tree bark paper: Using a medium flat brush, have students paint on 9x12 paper with a medium shade of brown tempera, and then, while still wet, brush on a light brown and a bit of green in sweeping strokes in a few random areas. When dry, have them continue to create a bark texture effect with dark brown paint, by pulling and twisting the Faber Castell Sun Burst and Mop Top texturing tools across the painted paper. A comb or plastic fork can also work.
Bluebird paper: Students mix a couple of shades of blue and paint the paper. For the color detail on the bird's wing, demonstrate how to paint a small area of the blue paper with some short black and white dry-brush strokes.
Flower blossom paper: Paint the paper in a very light pink, with some white areas remaining.
1. Demonstrate how to paint the background with tints of blue and green tempera to give it a muted, painterly effect. Use a large flat brush to make quick crisscrossing strokes, blending the colors while the paint is wet. Let dry.
2. Show how to draw branches on the back of the “bark” painted paper, and then cut it out. Remember the image will be reversed. Branches can also be cut out in free-form pieces which could be easier for students by giving more flexibility to designing the tree. Position onto the background and glue down.
3. Next, show students how to begin to design their bird nest with a foundation piece of scrap. Pictured here is burlap, which is very effective and inexpensive if you must buy anything. Cut and glue down.
4. Have students continue to carefully build their nest with 2 or 3 more pieces of fabric, lace or trim scraps. Glue down.
5. To create the bird, have students cut out the pieces from their blue paper. The beak is from a random scrap of orange paper. You could provide simple bird shape stencils for using on the painted paper, or have the students cut their own bird freehand. Next, position the bird in the nest and glue down.
6. Next, demonstrate how to position the bird in it’s nest and glue down. If the students choose to have their bird singing, show how to cut or gently tear a piece of music from scraps of old music pages. You can also find free sheet music online to download as well.
About Scraps: Consider starting a miscellaneous scrap collection for your art room. Put the word out (maybe through the PTA or school bulletin) that you are interested in any donations to the art room for future projects. Family members and even the community are often very happy to have a good school art program to donate their old sewing and crafting items to; you may be surprised at what shows up. All kinds of fabric, trims, lace, buttons and other odd items inspire and create wonderful art projects!
Flowers or berries
Flowers: Pictured here are the stunning pink and white flowers of the dazzling Dogwood Tree abloom in Spring! Students can lightly draw them on their painted paper and then cut them out. Paint the centers a lime green and glue them down. When the glue has dried, gently pull up petals for a dimensional effect.
Red berries: Equally as stunning as the flowers would be the red berries that the lovely Dogwood produces in early summer. Cut out berries and add a few green leaves. Glue down.
The bird’s eye is a painted black dot.
Click here to download the entire lesson plan!