1st Grade Winter Birds

winter birds

It’s no secret that I love birds, so it was only natural to teach a lesson plan that incorporated winter birds this holiday season! I started off by showing 1st graders how to create bark-like texture by dipping the edge of a piece of cardboard into black paint and dragging it across the paper.


1st graders seemed to like this and found it easy to carry out this technique. I asked students to fill their papers with horizontal bark-texture designs!

b ecOnce these were dry, 1st graders created accordian-like folds in their papers to form vertical creases. We cut along those lines to create  series of birch trees at each table.


Next, students selected bright and colorful background papers. They selected their two favorite trees and glued them to both sides of their papers.


For the bird part of this lesson, I created templates and passed them out to students. 1st graders traced the bird bodies onto various sheets of colored paper.  By the end of the project, I realized that the first graders could have managed just fine without my templates. If I repeat this lesson, I will let students sketch their own bird shapes to cut out. We live and learn!




Once each student had three bird bodies, I passed out “funky paper” from my scrap drawer so students could outline unique wings and tails to go with their bird bodies. We began gluing these birds down onto the paper, between the birch trees.


1st graders began adding on their wings and tails as they cut them from their “funky paper.” 🙂
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When the glue was dry, 1st graders went in with black oil pastel and added branches to fill the space between their trees. We reviewed the letters of the alphabet that made up tree branches (Y & V) and just went for it! They turned out great. We kept the oil pastels out to add more embellishments: eyes, beaks, and scarves. For the finishing touch, 1st graders smeared white oil pastel dots across the sky to create a flurry of snow.

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Here they are, hanging in the cafeteria and front office! Aren’t they festive?


Wishing you a Happy Winter!

-Mrs. Heinlein

2 thoughts on “1st Grade Winter Birds

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