1st grade Honduran Scarlet Macaws

“Ms. Forsyth, why is there a box of sticks in the art room?” Never underestimate the captivating power of something new.

For several years, we’ve been learning how to draw African giraffes in 1st grade. This year, I decided to create a new project based on a country that some of our students are from, Honduras.

The United States’s national bird is the bald eagle, and Honduras’s national bird is the Scarlet Macaw. That majestic flying rainbow of a bird, the Scarlet Macaw, is immortalized in stone in the ancient Mayan ruins of Copan.

And…Copan’s ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site! It’s extremely common to see wild Scarlet Macaws flying around as you tour the ruins.

So, once we had a taste of Honduras and a mystery of sticks lingering, we started our Scarlet Macaw drawings. This video showed us how we could combine lines, shapes, and details to create a personality-filled Scarlet Macaw.

We drew our macaws, added details, then traced over our drawings with Sharpies. Then we painted them, cut them out, and selected our patterned paper.

An exciting day in the art room was when we got to pick out sticks. There are several mature trees on and around our campus, so I harvested sticks from the ground. I wasn’t sure exactly how this would work since it was our first time on this project so I picked a variety of sizes.

With sticks and macaw drawings in their hands, they lined up so I could very carefully hot-glue their chosen sticks onto the paper, and the students glued their macaw drawings onto the patterned paper. They also drew leaves and attached their leaves to the stick or the background.

I’m really proud of the creativity of the 1st grade artists. This will be a project that gets into the rotation. I’m excited that we could learn and create.

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