Lesson Plans » Tropical Birds

Tropical Birds


  1. Discuss parrots and other tropical birds. Look at pictures of the birds discussed and note their characteristics. Located habitats on a world map.
  2. Using the field guide, discuss parts of a bird – beak shapes, types of feathers on the wings and tails, etc…
  3. Have students pick a photo of a bird and compare them to Edward Lear’s pictures. Note the colors and backgrounds.
  4. Model for students how to block in the bird body on their paper. By doing this, the bird will be the right size and in the middle of the paper. Remind students to draw their bird large. They should keep the drawing fairly simple – not too many details. They should include the main feathers, like the wing and tail feathers.
  5. Model for the students how to create foliage behind their bird. Look at photos for ideas.
  6. The students should paint in the bird first using the colors in their photo.
  7. The background should be painted in colors that contrast from the bird.
  8. The last step is to go over the pencil lines with a fine tip black marker.

Submitted by: Debbie Flint – Art Teacher for Sango Elementary, Clarksville, TN

Age Group

Grades 4-5




2-3 classes


  • Pencils
  • White Art Paper
  • Watercolor paints and brushes
  • Fine tip black markers
  • Pictures of parrots and other tropical birds
  • Bird field guide and map of the world
  • Edward Lear’s lithographs, Illustrations of Family Psittacidae, or Parrots
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