Birds of (Birches) Paradise

Students have been studying the appearances of birds as part of our bird study. After doing scientific drawings, we looked at birds through a more creative lens.  The children created these spectacular birds using watercolors and crayons. They drew designs and patterns in crayon on large sheets of paper. Then they painted multicolor watercolor washes over the patterns, creating bold color combinations and designs. When the papers dried, the children cut out bodies, wings, tails, and heads, sometimes using templates, sometimes not. Perched on branches suggesting a forest, the birds have unique personalities. Many are interpretations of real birds we’ve seen outside. See if you can spot the red-tailed hawk, the passenger pigeon, the cardinal, or the peregrine falcon.

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Our bird study has been a fine example of our interdisciplinary curriculum, incorporating science (participating in the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology Project FeederWatch; technology/engineering (building different kinds of bird feeders to attract different kinds of birds); mathematics (measuring wing spans, graphing the numbers and types of birds we have seen out our windows); and the arts (making scientific drawings, creative pictures and collages, 3-dimensional papier mache birds, reading and writing stories about birds).

The Arts are a critical component of our curriculum. We believe that children acquire many skills from expressing themselves through the arts, as this article from The Washington Post enumerates.