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Owls in the Neighborhood
Lesson by Kaye Furlong
Teacher Notes

Owls Main Project Picture.PNG

Project Description:

Owls in the Neighborhood is a directed drawing lesson, utilizing chalk pastels, inspired by both John James Audubon and California's native owl species. Students will learn about the elements of design – line, color, shape, form, texture and space - as well as the contrast of light and dark, while sketching and shading a realistic picture of an owl with chalk pastels. Material regarding California's owls and John James Audubon, and his Birds of America, will be available for presentation if the docents have sufficient time.Project may have suggested modifications for various grades.    

Main Supplies:

70 pound drawing paper, chalk pastels -browns, grays, black, white and bright yellow for the eyes (yellow crayon can be used for the eyes if you don't want to buy separate yellow chalk pastels), erasers, pencils and Q-tips for blending if the students don't want to use their fingers. Optional – black construction paper to mount finished drawings, inexpensive hair spray (think Aquanet) to use as a fixative.

Docent Resources 

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan Addendum - steps to draw owl from artist, mentioned in workshop

Slides Lesson

Video Lesson

Docent Tips and Tricks

Handouts (optional, various available, chairs pick what to supply, includes Triangle Template)  

Images (including samples): Create inspiration boards and handouts with these if you don't want to use the ones provided.

Cheat Sheet - *New* Similar to lesson plan, but different format docents may like to refer to when teaching.  Includes updated steps as shown in the workshop.   Created/shared by a school chair after the workshop. 


Videos on Owls: 

All About Owls for Kids: Backyard Bird Series - by Free School (3:42)

Owls for Kids -by Socratica Kids (8:03)

Videos on John James Audubon and his Birds of America:

The Life of John James Audubon - by Newfields (2:13)

Thirteen Specials: John James Audubon - by PBS (6:31) - great for middle & high school

How Audubon's Birds of America Changed Natural History - by Sotheby's (5:48) great for middle & high school

Bonus Website:

Audubon's Birds of America Online - The entire collection of Birds of America has been scanned and is available to all.  You can see all of Audubon's birds!  Click on a bird to see the full artwork. 


Samples Accumulated by Buffy Pre Workshop.PNG
Samples from Alison 1.png

Special thanks to: 

Kaye Furlong for the wonderful project!

Questions or Comments?

Please contact your school HOA chair or

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