Lois Ehlert Bird Collages

First Grade artists are finishing up a project inspired by Lois Ehlert’s winter story, “Snowballs”.  Ehlert-Snowballs

We created a cardinal collage and learned about the French word, collage, or “to glue” along the way!   The cardinal was made by folding a red construction paper circle in half like a taco – and in half again – and one more time, to make an ice cream cone – and we end up with how many triangles  – eight!  Students cut along the fold lines and played with their triangles “like a puzzle” to build a standing or flying bird.  Everyone’s bird is different since we all put our “bird puzzles” together in our own way.

First Grade Cardinals First Grade Cardinals First Grade Cardinals First Grade Cardinals

There’s something so fascinating about using the paper punch – and my 1st graders loved punching out a big pile of white tagboard holes for the “snow”!

Paper Punch Paper Punch

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6 thoughts on “Lois Ehlert Bird Collages

  1. Thanks Maggie! It’s a fun one and building the birdies like a little puzzle makes for some great creative thinking for first graders!

  2. Thanks Susan! About the trees…in a perfect world, I would have had my 1st graders print the trees by dragging a piece of cardboard through black paint – however my classes are very large and I wasn’t sure I could monitor this technique enough for it to be successful. So instead, I took a clue from Ehlert’s collage technique and found some pre-printed birch tree scrapbooking paper – I photocopied that and the kids cut their birch trees from the photocopied bark paper, adding tree branches on their own at the tops. They really enjoyed the project!

  3. Hello! I am also going to try this lesson with my first graders. Can you tell me what size red construction paper circle you used for the birds? Did the kids make the circle or did you have them cut in a circle already? Today I’m doing the tree dragging with black paint, hopefully it goes well!

  4. Hi Jill! We traced our circle around a cool whip lid – I keep a bunch of those around for tracing circles. It’s about a 6″ circle. I DID cut out the circle for my PK classes, but the kinders did it themselves. Good cutting practice. If they got hung up and made weird circles I helped them fix it a bit. If you have classes that are a bit lower – mine are pretty good direction followers – you might want to pre-cut the circles and then move on to the folding all together. Kind of hard to pace them through the steps, so it depends on your level of patience! How did the trees go?

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