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Level: Junior
Grades: 3 -5 | Age: 8 - 11yrs | Written by: Andrea Mulder-Slater and Therese (Terri) Jodouin [Andrea is one of the creators of, Terri is an artist and art teacher.]

This lesson introduces students to basic printmaking concepts as well as watercolor resist techniques. Owls are the theme.

What You Need:
What You Do:

Talk about owls and view photographs of owls.

Tell students that they will be creating a picture of an owl sitting on a branch, at the edge of a lake.

Demonstrate the following technique:

  1. Fold the paper in half widthwise and reopen it.
  2. The drawing will be created above the fold, on the top portion of the paper.
  3. Using a dark colored crayon, draw a branch for the owl to sit on. Place this branch near the fold in the paper.
  4. Again, using a dark colored, crayon, draw an owl sitting on the branch. Focus on the basic shapes of the owl. The owl's head is shaped like a heart, or a kidney bean. The owl's body is shaped like an upside down teardrop.
  5. Using a dark colored crayon, draw the outline of a moon behind the owl's head (see diagram).
  6. Go over all of your lines, making sure that they are nice and heavy.
  7. Fill the moon in with yellow, pressing hard.
  8. Lightly color in the owl with brown or black crayon.
  9. Fold the paper over.
  10. Press hard so that the crayon makes an impression.
  11. Open the paper.
  12. You should see a "reflection" of the owl, branch and moon on the bottom half of the page.
  13. Enhance lines where needed.
  14. Paint over the picture with blue watercolor or watery tempera paint.
  15. Let dry.

Recommended Books/Products:

Owl Moon
Among the greatest charms of children is their ability to view a simple activity as a magical adventure. Such as a walk in the woods late at night. Jane Yolen captures this wonderment in a book whose charm rises from its simplicity. "It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling." The two walked through the woods with nothing but hope and each other in a journey that will fascinate many a child. John Schoenherr's illustrations help bring richness to the countryside adventure.

Owls Thematic Unit

Owls Thematic Unit

Owls Thematic Unit is based on the following two pieces of literature: Owl Moon and Owly. This reproducible resource is filled with ready-to-use lessons and cross-curricular activities. Also included are management ideas, creative suggestions for the classroom, and a bibliography.


See photos of this lesson plan at Mrs. Smith's Blog

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