Thursday, 11 August 2011

Bird's Nest Collage

I got the idea for this lovely project from the Adventures of an Art Teacher blog.
I had not used the technique of blowing thinned paint through a straw with my class of disabled adults before and was sure that they would find it fun. After handing out the paper I went round each student individually and spooned a teaspoon of paint onto their paper and instucted them to blow (not suck!) the paint towards me. Not all of them managed to blow through the straw successfully but tilting the paper to let the paint run also worked well, as did using the straw like a brush to move the paint around. All of their 'tree branches' looked fantastic and very individual. I then showed them how to draw a few leaves at the end of the twigs they had just created. The paint was of course still very wet and I asked them to try not to dip the pastels into the wet paint. When I cleaned up at the end only one pastel had brown paint on it! Most of them needed help from their carers to draw and cut out some egg shapes from patterned paper. I asked them to place the eggs on the picture and let me check it before glueing them down as there was a temptation to spread the eggs all over the branch istead of grouping them together. I then handed out some shredded newspaper and pieces of raffia which they glued down to make the nest. The final step was to use a blue pastel to give the suggestion of a blue sky. I thought that we might have time to draw a bird sitting on the branch too but the activity took up the whole hour quite easily.


  1. I like Sara's picture the best.

    Nice work!

  2. Ok, I did a blog post on you and your blog! I think you have something special here. You asked me what you can do.... so here goes!!! POST POST POST POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The more posts you do(and don't forget to tag them) the more readership you will have. Post details on adaptations you make to help your students out. Also, if you find articals/products that you about those as well. Though you want to promote your helps to include helpful tips. You may also want to include some of your personal art experience...share a bit more about you & the art you create. :) Hope that helps!!

  3. Found you on Mr. E. He has quite a large following so you should have people poring in. I would agree with him, you do need to post regularly. I love the concept of you blog and the project are wonderful. I will place you on my blog roll as well.

  4. Hello!
    Saw your info on Mr.E's blog and thought I'd say Hi! I am an elementary art teacher who has SPED students mainstreamed for art class. I will have 2 new groups of developmentally delayed kids this year for the first time, much lower ability than the kids I've worked with in the past. Any help you could offer on adapting art projects would be great! I admire the work you do with adults too!

  5. I tried to comment yesterday but was having issues! Welcome to our little community! I'm glad you liked my bird nest lesson!

    I haven't had much time to look through this resource yet, but it looks like it might come in handy:

  6. This is great! A friend of mine saw your blog and sent me the link. I just graduated with an art education degree. And I just started a job at a DT&H working with adults with disabilities. When they don't have work to do we do classes with them. I love the projects that you have done so far! I'll be posting mine as well!