I love the contrast between the graphic black & white of the cages and the colorful birds. My third grade students completed these in 4-5 class sessions.
For enrichment, read "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou
A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.
12" X 18" white tag or paper for the cage drawing, pencil, eraser, black marker, 12" x 18" white paper for the quetzal drawing, oil pastels, scissors, glue, printed examples of cages and quetzal birds
We looked at various examples of quetzal birds, which reside in Central America, and discussed their plummage and colors. Students also looked at various examples of bird cages, which were printed out for them.
Students drew a bird cage of their choice on the 12" X 18" tag (I prefer this thicker paper), making it as large as the paper. Although they are allowed to look at examples, they are NOT allowed to copy them exactly; rather, they must change the cages to make them their own.
The cages are then traced in black marker.
Oil pastels are used to color in each bird. Students are encouraged to start coloring lightly, then build up & blend colors together.
Once the birds are finished, the students carefully cut around them and glue them to the outside their cages.
Enjoy our beautifully free birds!