Whooo loves owls? I dooooooo! We did owl projects in 5th-2nd grade and everyone whooo saw them liked them. Let's start with 5th grade.
I am working on building the 5th graders confidence in drawing and getting them to make artistic choices. This was my first, "artist's choice," drawing lesson. I choose steps of the drawing that were required and steps that were optional. This allowed each student to personalize their drawing to their own taste, interest, skill level and desired amount of work. Ohhh look at me, I differentiated.
I started by guiding the class through a basic owl drawing. No tracers allowed for this one. We started towards the top of the paper and made a fist. I had them place their fist on the paper and "draw" around it with their finger. Then I had them use their pencil to draw a oval- circle shape about the size of their fist. Next we drew the body of the owl using a basic oval and the idea that the body should be about two heads high. At this point the kids added a beak, ears if they wanted them, design around the eyes and on the face and some w shaped lines for feathers on the tummy. Onto the wings. Students could make the wings laying to the side of the owl, stretching out or with one wing bent to hold something. Next we drew a branch for our owl to sit on and added the feet. Students could put leaves on their branch if wanted. Then I had students add a moon (in the phase of their choice) and stars if they wanted. Finally students could have their owl hold something. Some chose a heart, others had their owls hold baby owls or teddy bears or even a mouse for dinner. Everything was inked over with waterproof felt tip pen.
After this was all done we spent two class sessions painting our owls (one class is still not done) I showed the kids how to mix different shades of brown with their watercolors and used touches of blue and purple to create different feather textures on the wings and body. We talked about painting one section of a drawing and then moving onto another area to let the paint dry before we went back to the first section to keep paint from bleeding. We practiced keeping our paint not to thick and not too watery. Eventually we did a wet on wet wash in the back and added salt to make the star/snow effect.
The results: I would say at leat 85% of the students felt good about their drawing. That is way better than usual. I was quite pleased with their drawings and creativity. Our painting results were less successful. We did our drawing on 60lb card stock...my "good" paper alternative. I can only afford to have students do one clay project a year and one project on good watercolor paper. As this was a new lesson I didn't want to risk the 5th grade's one piece of watercolor paper on it. I wish I had. Doing detailed watercolor painting on anything but watercolor paper tends to lead to so so results. Still quite a few kids got a pretty nice end product. It would be interesting to do this lesson with tempera and small small brushes, but I just love the look of watercolors.