"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Funky Flamingos

This is a fun lesson I've done for years with 3rd and 4th Graders. First, I show them pictures of flamingos and give them a handout with lots of different types of flamingos. Then I demo how to draw one and they practice in their sketchbook. 
Then they paint their background first on a sheet of heavy white paper- sunsets, sunrises, beach scenes- whatever they want. We use tempera paints and glitter paint for the ocean. 

While these are drying, they start drawing their good copy flamingo on another sheet of white paper. Paint these with bright pink tempera and let dry. Then add a nice thick outline with a black permanent marker and carefully cut them out (warning- super skinny legs are tricky for students to cut out). Paint a thin layer of white glue on the back and glue them to the background.  For a final touch, add a googly eye and a feather for a tail. If you have some sand, you could also sprinkle this on some white glue if you have a beach scene (see last two photos).

Here's a good handout from Enchanted Learning.com


Glitter paint is fun for the ocean.

Hot glue on a feather for a tail.

Ta da!


Anonymous said...

LOVE these. Pink Flamingos have always been one of my favorite things!

Miss Macridis said...

I just did this activity with my third graders. They did an awesome job on the backgrounds. But I had a really hard time to get them to draw their flamingos big enough. I went through all the instructions - taught them how to draw them. Did it on the board. Showed them how big on a piece of paper and they practiced in their sketchbooks.

Any suggestions for next time?

Miss said...

Hi Miss Macridis,

I'm so glad you tried out the project- it's one of my favourites! Kids drawing too small, or not 'filling the whole page', as I tell them, is a common problem.

Sometimes it helps to, ahead of time, draw two pictures to show them the 'good way'- a big, large flamingo, and then one that is way too small. Hold them up and have them tell you which looks better and why. And more importantly, ask them which one would be easier to cut out!

When demo-ing how to draw something, I like to give size suggestions in terms of objects they can relate to (I always use food references in class! lol) For example: "Ok- let's start off by drawing the body- draw a nice big oval in the middle of the paper- draw it as big as a pancake. Ok- then a big snake shape for the neck. Then a big, big oval egg shape for the head."

If you're drawing on regular printer paper (like we did), it helps to start with the body in the middle of the paper, so they don't run out of room for the head or legs. You could also tell them "OK- you need to make sure the head touches the top of the paper and the legs touch the bottom." A guideline like that should help ensure the flamingo fills the page.

I walk around and check all their practice drawings and then tell them (nicely, of course)if they need to try again and make it bigger. They know I'm only telling them because I want them to do the best work possible and I know they can do it.

My biggest challenge with this project is getting them to make the legs thick enough that they're easy to cut. I feel like I say "You need to make the legs thicker" about a hundred times during a class! lol

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