Kindergarten Birds

These kinder­garten bird paint­ings are guar­an­teed to make you smile! I was com­pletely charmed by these when my stu­dents did them last week, so I wanted to share a few, along with some tips for get­ting great results.…

I began by shar­ing a spe­cial “artist secret” with my stu­dents.… that “artists use shapes to help them draw things”! Next, I read them the story of Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Then, I chose objects around the room and asked them what shape(s) an artist might use to draw that object. (ex. “If an artist wanted to draw our clock, what shape might he or she start with? The stu­dents answer, “A cir­cle!”) Once they have the idea of look­ing for shapes in the objects around them, I show them how to draw a bird using shapes, and then paint it with water­color.…

1. Using a black crayon or oil pas­tel, draw a large half cir­cle in the mid­dle of your paper for your bird’s body. (Press hard, so your draw­ing will show through the water­color later on!)
2. Now draw a smaller (but not too small!) half cir­cle on top of that for your bird’s head.
3. Add a tri­an­gle for the beak and a very small cir­cle, or a dot, for the eye.
4. Draw two straight lines down from the bird’s body for it’s legs, with an upside down “V” at the bot­tom for feet.
5. For the wings and tail, make some­thing like a heart shape, only with three bumps instead of two. (I wasn’t sure if they would get that con­cept but they actu­ally did!)
6. Now, draw a nest, or a branch for your bird to stand on.
7. Finally, paint your pic­ture using water­col­ors. Make sure you use enough water, so your paint looks trans­par­ent (you’ll need to explain what that means!). Use any color except for black.… the con­trast of the col­or­ful paint against the black line draw­ing is what makes these paint­ings “pop”!

Another key to suc­cess with this project is encour­ag­ing stu­dents to paint their whole paper, and not leave any white paper show­ing. They won’t do this nat­u­rally, you have to coax them! I tell them we’re going to play a game called, “Hide the Paper” (spe­cial thanks to fel­low art teacher Jane Brown for that amaz­ing tip!).… when you make a game of it, they all rise to the challenge!!

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9 Responses to Kindergarten Birds

  1. erica September 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    those are SO cute!! they def­i­nitely made me smile :)

  2. LauraHubb September 28, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    What great ideas on your site! I am going rush to school to try these with my kiddos!

  3. Lori Decoite September 29, 2009 at 5:43 am #

    These look great!! I will be try­ing these! thanks for shar­ing :)
    http://artclassworks.blogspot.com/

  4. SMMART ideas September 30, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    Love your site…
    Pick up your Kreativ Blog­ger Award at my learn­ing activ­ity site:
    http://SMMARTideas.blogspot.com
    Lisa

  5. Melissa Stewart October 5, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    TOO CUTE!! I hope to see these soon at Kids Kreations! Can’t wait to see how these turn out on our new products!

  6. TeachKidsArt October 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    Oh, I know!! The par­ents are going to eat these up!!! :)

  7. Cindy Lee Jones October 5, 2009 at 8:20 pm #

    Absolutely delight­ful… They all look so cute together.

  8. Nancy Scoble, Washington, NC September 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Our stu­dents came to school dur­ing spirit week in their paja­mas.
    I men­tioned to the 1–3 graders I had never seen stu­dents at school in their sleep clothes.
    Next thing you know I spot­ted a BIRD IN PAJAMAS out the window.

    Did you see it?” I inquired. You can guess what type of work we had in the process. Feath­ers were avail­able for addi­tional detail.

  9. Nancy Scoble, Washington, NC September 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    I also detail the white board with beak pro­files of every bird I can think of. A Tou­can is much dif­fer­ent than a Car­di­nal. Sci­ence project.…..? Dis­sus­sion fol­lows… Just WHAT does a Pel­i­can eat? or a Car­di­nal or a Tou­can? What is the pur­pose of the beak?

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