Read and make: How to paint the portrait of a bird

On Tuesday we read one of my most favorite poems “How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird” by  Jacques Prévert. We did a little art project after reading the book.

We chose a beautiful book with illustrations by Mordicai Gerstein (published in 2007 by Roaring Brook Press) to read the poem in English first:


After we read it in English, we went to look at a couple of  videos that  let us listen to the poem in French :

Pour faire un portrait d’un oiseau

Emily Loizeau “Pour faire le portrait d’un oiseau”

We looked at some Audubon’s birds in an art album we have at home.


Next kids painted their own birds. This project was done in two parts:

Part One:

We did “paper marbling”, that would become our birds. It’s very simple to make marbled paper. All is needed is some shaving cream and liquid watercolors or food coloring. Put shaving cream in a container, add a few drops of preferred colors and swirl around with a stick. Next heap shaving cream on the paper and after a few minutes remove shaving cream using a piece of plastic or cardboard (for example a credit card).


We set our marble paper aside to dry and kids started Part Two of the project. Both were given two large sheets of paper and some crayons and watercolors. They were asked to draw a pretty tree, green leaves, flowers and insects for a bird to enjoy.


I love how D. carefully thought out what shall be included in his picture


C., my little artist, doesn’t hold her thoughts back, she paint in bold strokes, fearlessly blending colors

Next step: We cut bird shapes out of marbled paper, I helped C., D. gave his bird a long tail. We glued birds on their branches, then  kids added origami paper triangles for beaks and drew eyes. The result: colorful paintings that bring that  summer feeling into our home.


C.’s masterpiece


D.’s masterpiece (he also added origami paper wing and some swirls on the tail for feathers)

This was definitely fun and easy project.


One thought on “Read and make: How to paint the portrait of a bird

  1. Pingback: Learning about birds continued | Sunflowerous Days

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