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SOFT SCULPTURE BIRDS (Giant Stuffed Birds) 

Level: Primary, Junior, Middle School
Grades: K-8 | Age: 5-14yrs | Written by: Linda Moucha
[Linda is an art educator from Barry Community School District, Barry, IL.]

A lesson plan that shows students how to make soft sculptures out of paper. The theme is birds.

Time: 3-4 class periods (30-40 minutes each)
Concept: Mixed media; Large Scale Soft Sculpture
Art Elements: Color, Shape/Form


After completing this project the student will be acquainted with the following:


Mixed media, Shape, Form, Soft Sculpture


What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Distribute visuals of birds. After letting the children look at the visuals, discuss the shapes, colors and sizes of birds. What geometric shapes could be put together to form a simple bird shape? What sizes and shapes do birds come in? Discuss the variety of beaks shapes, tails, colors, etc.
  2. Hand out paper, pencils, and markers. Draw a huge bird that fills this paper. However, do not add legs, feet, or tails at this time. Those will be added later!
  3. Using the tempera paint, color in the whole bird. Use a variety of colors and patterns. Let the paper dry until the next class.
  4. Teacher task before the next class period: Using white glue, run a line of glue all around the reverse side of the bird leaving a six inch space at the bird's belly. (If the birds were first outlined in black marker this task will be easier.) Then attach a second piece of paper. This will create the hollow bird pillow to be stuffed during the next class period.
  5. Each student will cut out his/her bird, making sure to cut through both pieces of paper as if they were one sheet. Do not throw out these scraps! (If you have extra time, students may paint the unpainted sides of each bird. Let dry.)
  6. Now, wad up the paper scraps into snowball sized balls and stuff the birds! The teacher can then staple the opening in the belly closed.
  7. Next, the students will attach tails, legs, and various bird adornments with the strips of paper, feathers, sequins, yarn, etc. The students can fold, curl, and zigzag the paper to create interesting legs and tails. The sky is the limit!
  8. Paper punch holes in the top of the birds and hang them from the classroom ceilings to welcome Spring!

Student Photos:

Students from the art room at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf created Giant Stuffed Birds! Have a look:


Recommended Books/Products:

Collage Bulk Pack

Collage Bulk Pack

Reinforce color and shape recognition, fine-motor skills, cooperative learning and more. Includes paper plates, colored pasta, pompons, foam, felt and cardboard precut shapes, chenille stems, foam trays, shredded tissue paper and more.


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