.... and blurry, apparently:
Uppercase b's were cut from black construction paper, then glued to brown, with orange brows and a beak (little talons too!) accenting big white eyes. White feathers were drawn onto the bird's belly with a crayon.
One student was absent the day we made our birds- the others are looking forward to her owl joining them soon!
There's a lot of debate about whether students' creative activities should focus on the process or the product. While I believe artistic expression should be encouraged at all ages and not be falsely addressed by "canned" art projects, I also know that fine motor skills have to be developed and tools must be introduced to children, often with safety in mind first. Processing skills include following step by step directions, keeping track of materials and tools, observing and tracking parts of a whole, and learning new techniques that can be used again later. When teaching young children, creative endeavors can be about both the process and the product with ample opportunities for students to express themselves freely in creative construction zones, art centers and elsewhere.
Students often enjoy helping teachers prepare materials for projects! While it's always good to have them practice cutting, there are times when other tools are just as helpful at developing fine motor control and strength. Paper punches can be found at many arts and crafts stores. Consider purchasing circle, square, star, or letter punches, but don't forget to use coupons and teacher discounts whenever possible! Some of my favorite punches are:
....and my favorite for the upcoming holiday season: