Line Birds


Although it isn’t technically spring yet, here in New Hampshire, it is definitely starting to warm up. The snow is finally melting away and one of our first signs of spring is the return of our feathered friends: Plump little Robins that hop around the school yard, looking for worms. To celebrate this unseasonable warmth, my kindergarteners make these preciously expressive birds and learn about a very important Element of Art: Line.

I always begin this lesson by asking a student to come to the board to draw a line. Usually, the first kid draws a straight line on the board. Then I ask the class, “Do lines have to be straight?” To which I receive a unanimous, “No!” I call on another student and say, “Who can draw a line that isn’t straight?” The next kid comes to the board and draws a squiggly line… Now we’re talking’! The next student draws a zig-zag, then a wavy line, then a swirly line. This part of the process is key to getting these little kinders into the right mindset!

What you need:

Let’s get started!

Step One:

Demonstrate how to draw a bird. Rarely do I do step by step drawing lessons but with the little guys, sometimes it is essential to getting them started. This bird is pretty simple… Start with a capital letter ‘J’ for the birds back, then beginning at the tip of what will be the bird’s tail, draw another ‘J’ making the birds belly, Add a triangle for a beak, connect the top of the beak to the top of the first ‘J’, and there you have it! Be sure to draw an eye and then trace with their favorite color pastel.


Step Two:

After drawing the bird on the board I show how to fill it with lines. We want lots of line variety and color!

Step Three:

Paint our birdies! This is where the magic happens; my kiddies are always blown away when I demonstrate how the watery paint jumps over the lines due to the reaction of oil and water. We experiment with blending from one color to the next and use the color wheel to find which colors will go nicely together. Our goal is to stay inside the lines and I am pleasantly surprised by how careful my kindergarteners are! When you aim the tip of your bristles at the line and drag your brush along it helps keep us our paint in control.


Step Four:

Once dry, cut out your bird and glue onto a piece of construction paper of your choice!

Have Fun!

Student Examples: