Winter Birds and Birch Trees (1st)

The first day students came in, we read the book "Snowballs" by Lois Elhert which features some really beautiful winter-themed collages (one of which is birch trees and birds). We talk about how the illustrations in the book were created (collages - and technically assemblages <- but we don't go into that) and how the art in the book looked so unique.
Once we were done talking I gave each student a piece of 6"x12" white drawing paper and had them draw two vertical lines on their paper with a ruler to divide the space up into three sections. Students were then given a Styrofoam plate with black tempera on it and a rectangle piece of scrap cardboard (about the size of an index card). I demonstrated how they could lightly dip their cardboard into the paint, then drag it on an angle across each section to create a birch tree looking effect. Students repeated this for all three sections. **When you put the black paint on a plate you need to shake it side to side to spread the paint out so the puddle isn't so deep!
On the second day students created a piece of textured painted-paper using a watercolor resist technique (crayon & pan watercolor) on a sheet of 15"x12" white drawing paper.
On the third day I had my students cut their paper from the first day (the trees) along the pencil lines to create 3 trunks. Then had them cut a really skinny rectangle from their widest trunk. This piece was divided into 4 smaller pieces to create the branches. Students then picked a sheet of 15"x12" colored construction paper to use for their backgrounds and glued their trees to it.
On the fourth day I had a really short class period with my students (only 20 minutes because I had to take them to the winter assembly), so I gave them a container of white tempera and had them use the back of their paintbrush to create "snow" dots on their page.
Finally on the fifth and final day students got back their textured painted paper and cut out shapes to create birds. The only thing I gave to the students to help them with this was a main body template (teardrop shape) to ensure that they made the body of their birds big enough. All other details they created entirely on their own.

I can't wait to do this project again with another group when we get back from winter break! So cute! :)

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