second grade has gone to the birds!

The second grade artists worked so hard to create these beautiful detailed watercolor renderings of birds with a focus on line and color. They also learned about the artist/naturalist John James Audubon in The Boy Who Drew Birds by Jacqueline Davis.

This lovely book tells the story of John James Audubon as a young boy who diligently studies the habits of birds and discovers the secrets of small bird migration. Did you know that scientists used to think that small birds migrated to the moon, transformed into larger birds, or hibernated under water during the winter?!

We learned that John James Audubon had to shoot and stuff the birds in order to draw them so accurately. Fortunately no birds were harmed in the making of these watercolors! The second grade artists used photography to help them study the birds so closely.

John James Audubon was the first person in North America to band a bird in 1804 and the second graders were excited to make the connection to the Lewis and Clark expedition also starting that year!

We spent a lot of time talking about the visual characteristics of birds and played bird inspired Pictionary (which I used as a pre-assessment tool). They end up drawing well over 20 types of birds by the end of the hour! They did a great job using their spatial and interpersonal intelligences here.


beth said...

Wow, those are great!!

Suzanne said...

How do your students play bird Pictography and how do you use it for pre-assessment? Thanks! These are wonderful!

Mary said...

WOW! Gorgeous details. These are really beautiful.

Mary said...

So happy to discover your blog. These birds are gorgeous! What fabulous details!I have given you a Versatile Blogger Award. You can click on my latest post for details.

Shannah said...

Thank you Beth:) We need to get together again!

Hello Suzanne and thanks. Bird pictionary is a simple drawing game. Each team (in this case of two students) has a list of birds to draw from and they take turns drawing while the other guesses what kind of bird it is.
I use the drawings to assess the use of detail, use of color, fine motor, drawing strategies they might already be using, and attitude (struggling, perfectionism, etc). This is a great snapshot of what they are capable of before instruction. Hope that helps!

Hello Mary! Thank you so much for the kind words:) I've added your blog to my reader. I look forward to sharing and can't wait to see what you are up to next.

Angie said...

Just discovered your blog. Inspiring!