Ever wonder why birds sit on power lines? How do they hold on? Why do they all face one way? Are they watching us? How many birds can sit on a power line at one time? Can birds talk to each other? Are they social towards each other? Before you research the answers to these questions, take a moment and go outside or observe through a window the birds in your neighborhood. Check out their sizes, shapes, and colors. Do you know where these birds come from and where they nest? Are the birds in your neighborhood social? Do they talk to each other? Do you hear them sing? How many different songs do you hear?
Here are a few basic facts to get started. Birds do sit on power lines because they are very similar to the branches they sit on in nature. Their feet are designed to lock onto a round cylindrical object such as a branch or power line. They face the same way to have the wind at their backs. Yes, they are very social, making room for another bird as it lands on a wire. They gather in large groups such as you see during migration to their summer or winter homes. The birds we see most often are in the family of songbirds. Birds like to sit up high to see prey or look for food. Now, for the fun questions: Can they talk to each other and are they watching us? What are they really looking at? Have your students decide the answers to these questions or even create a story around them.
This project gives students the opportunity to study birds and their habitats, experiment with mixed media products, create an assemblage, and hone basic math skills. This composition is an assemblage with students creating the components on separate sheets of paper. Students should sketch out an image of their chat line. To create the body of the birds they can use a ruler, a piece of cardboard, a circle maker, tin can, or bottle to draw the shapes needed. Discuss the components of a bird and how circles and half circles can be used to create a bird. Once a design has been chosen, students can draw the circles and half circles in the sizes they want on drawing paper. Then students can use a variety of mediums or materials to color in the parts of their birds. These can include crayons, tissue paper, markers, watercolors, and newspaper, gift wrap, or magazines.
Don’t forget about the other items in the composition such as tree branches, leaves, power lines, and poles. What materials can they use to make these? Once all the pieces of the composition are colored or created, they can position them on a sheet of paper. Don’t glue them down until the pieces are arranged in the composition desired. Once complete, students can glue their birds together on the chat line. Now it is time for a fabulous story; what are your birds chatting about on their chat line?
Colorful Bird Chat Line Art Project Objectives
Students will use materials found at home for the parts of their composition.
Students will discover that an assemblage process allows them to be more creative with color and texture.
The study of birds, habitats, migration patterns, and shapes will integrate science and math into this art project.
Note: The lesson plan instructions may need to be modified to accommodate at-home students.
Tips for the Colorful Bird Chat Line
As students color in their background, have them add details such as buildings, trees, landmarks, and other birds flying.
Have students watch the 2001 documentary “Winged Migration” to learn more about how and why birds migrate.
When writing the story, think about the types of questions birds would chat about: Where are we going to eat dinner? Should we sleep during the day or night? Why can’t humans fly?
More Bird Art Lesson Plans & Ideas
Want to try something else? Be sure to check out these other art lesson plans and view our Art Lesson Plan collection for even more.
Share Your At-Home Students’ Artwork and Enter for a Chance to Win $250!
While we engage in at-home learning, we want to celebrate the wonderful pieces students have created! We are looking for all at-home student artists and giving them an opportunity to shine! Submit their artwork to be considered for our next featured at-home student artist and a chance to win a merchandise certificate worth $250 for the student and the teacher who inspired them. Original artwork from students of all grade levels is eligible and the online submission process is simple. Visit our Student Art page for details.
After 24 years as a college admissions director, Mary crossed over to provide the materials for art education as a member of Sax, first as manager of Inside Sales, then as National Sales Manager. Mary has overseen a team of 15 art consultants. In 2000 Mary and her team created Sax Lesson Plan Book partnerships with prominent art supplies vendors. Meanwhile, she has refined her own artful style of presentation at various national, state and local conferences.
For Nadine, art education has been her life’s work, including an Ohio teaching license, 5 years teaching elementary art, and 19 years in higher education (teacher prep). She has served Sax for 25 years as a Category Account Manager, Art Consultant, and Subject Matter Expert. In the latter capacity, Nadine has presented at various national, state, and local conferences.