I like to have art projects that correlate with the science topic we are studying. A few weeks back, Miss Melissa (one of my three assistants) and I were discussing doing a bird art project. She wondered if we could come up with something using paper plates. After thinking about it a little while we came up with this project. I put it out today (Monday) for the first time and MANY children chose to do it. Below you can see how I set up this project. I have the supplies on top of a shelf with the samples attached to the back. Two children at a time may sit at the white tables to make the project.
I prepared some small paper plates with lines draw in black Sharpie and two holes punched at the bottom. These were placed into a basket. Next to that is a tray with crayons and markers.
Then a basket with scissors and a bowl with small pieces of brown and black pipecleaners for the legs. (These were regular length pipecleaners cut into thirds.)
Attached to the shelf is a plate showing the "beak" already colored in so the children would know which part to color with the marker before coloring the entire plate with a crayon. I gave a group lesson on this project so the children could see each step being executed. I also attached a sample of the "cardinal" and "blue jay" to the shelf next to a picture of each bird. I decided since this pattern results in a bird with a wedge-shaped head we would be more scientifically accurate and call our birds either cardinals or blue jays since they are birds we've learned and they both have a crest of feathers on top of their head.
To complete this project the child first colors the beak with a marker as described above. Then they color the entire plate with red or blue crayon. I captured one little girl "in action" coloring her cardinal. After coloring they cut the plate on the lines. They have 4 pieces when finished cutting: one for the body, one for the head, one for the tail and one for the wing. They bring these pieces to a teacher and the teacher staples the bird together. Then the child returns to their work area and adds an eye to the bird's head using the black marker. The final step is to add pipe-cleaner legs. Even with the holes already punched they needed help from a teacher to attach the legs.
Here are two cardinals that were made this morning.
And a blue jay. Although I didn't realize this when I first thought of the project, I like how the ridges on the paper plate resemble feathers when colored.