Winter Cardinals


My 1st graders made these charming collages of cardinals in a winter scene. One of my two schools that I teach at has a cardinal for the school mascot so this lesson was extra special for them.


  • White paper
  • black tempera paint
  • scrapers
  • red painted paper
  • blue/grey paper
  • white paint
  • qtips – optional for snowflakes
1st Grade Cardinals displayed along with 2nd Grade’s Jim Dine Hearts


  • TO make the trees I gave each student 6X9 peice of grey construction paper. I showed them how to dip paint texture scrapers into black paint and scrape the paint across the grey paper to create black smudges to be the tree bark. Some needed reminding not to cover the entire paper with black.

  • In a previous class the students had created painted papers and I gave them each a 6X9 piece of red painted paper.
  • I gave them solo cups to trace a circle on a red square of paper. I had them trace on the non-painted side so there will be no pencil lines when glued down painted side up.

  • Cut out the circle and pretend it’s a pizza. Cut the pizza in half. The bottom half, put to the side. That will be the body.

  • The other half, cut into 3 slices: 1 for the mohawk (the tuft of feathers on the head of a cardinal), 1 for the wing, and 1 for the tail.

  • Glue ‘slices’ in place on the cardinal.

  • Find a yellow scrap to cut a tiny triangle out for the beak. Glue in place. Snip off if necessary.

  • Then add black crayon for the ‘mask’ on the face of the cardinal. Some students ran out of time to add the mask on.

  • For the last step I gave the students white paint to add snowflakes onto their pictures.


Thanks to Colors Of My Day and Arttastic! for the  lesson inspiration!


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