This year, with spring on the way, I decided to try out some of the bird drawings. I have done the Cardinal several times since that is our mascot, but I wanted to try some of the other ones on the channel. I had a couple of classes do the robin, and a couple of classed do the hummingbird. Those were both REALLY successful. I only had one class do the hawk, one class the peacock and one class do the Phoenix. I though they would really love the peacock and the Pheonix but the details were harder to implement and a few kids got a little frustrated in each class.
I like the bird videos because they use GOOD colored pencils (or oil pastels in the peacock video), and it gives me a chance to show my students how much nicer Prismacolored pencils are...and I encourage them to ask for a set for Christmas/Easter/birthday if they are really into drawing, those colored pencils are so much better quality. Also, the videos demonstrate blending and it is cool to see kids really try to make their birds look realistic.
I gave the students 8.5X11 white drawing paper so we could mount on 9X12 construction paper for the display. I also let them draw in pencil first and then trace in sharpie.
I always like the results of step-by-step drawings, but I'm not sure if it really teaches drawing skills. I do like using this project for learning how to shade and blend colors. It is easier to demonstrate layering the color when everyone has the same subject, the layers would all be in the same places. When everyone draws a different animal, it is harder to explain without a demonstration for each one.