Lesson Plan: Bird Puns Drawing - Elementary

Bird Visual Puns

Submitted by: Kenna Bush, Westminster Christian Academy, Opelousas, Louisiana
UNIT: Drawing - Visual Puns - Humor in Art
Lesson: Bird Visual Puns - Bird Puns Gallery
Grade Level: Elementary (these are grades 4 and 5)



Prepare slips of paper with a variety of bird names (see list). Cut into strips and place names inside plaster eggs. Put eggs in basket or make a nest from crumpled paper.



  • See objects in a different way - work with word play

  • Express bird (or fish) in humorous way to show meaning of bird name - use imagination

  • Develop skills in using drawing media


Drawing Paper.
Drawing Pencils. - Kneaded Rubber Erasers.
Black Permanent Markers.
Colored Pencils.., AquaMarkers. or Crayons.
Optional: Plastic Eggs.


Motivation - Instruction:

  1. Discuss the meaning of visual pun. Give some examples from other words to spark imagination. Brainstorm how the words could be drawn to create a visual pun.

  2. Demonstrate drawing (this step could be omitted and just turn the students lose once they receive their bird name).

  3. Students select bird name hidden in plastic egg.

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Click images for larger views - See more



Day 1

  1. Select bird name - brainstorm some ideas how bird could be illustrated. Select best idea for drawing.

  2. Begin drawing in pencil on good drawing paper

Day 2 - 3

  1. Review concepts - Finish pencil drawing - look at work in progress

  2. Outline with permanent markers

  3. Color with chosen media (colored pencils, crayons or markers).

  4. Critique finished work - share with class.

Science Extension:

Students will research the bird they have drawn. Include information on habitat, what they eat, how they nest, etc. Illustrate with a realistic picture of the bird (working from photograph) - or include a digital image from the Internet.



Project:  Birds Visual Puns                     Name______________________________




Mastery – 3 pts

Advancing –2pts

Novice – 1 pt


Developing skills at grade level – Shows growth - takes risks to discover

I produce high quality, creative work. I show originality and take risks to learn new.





Understanding and application of Art Concepts and lesson objectives

I apply all art concepts, especially those stressed for the project. I solve problems myself.






Participation and effort

I always participate in class and always use class time well






Use and care of Materials

I used all materials appropriately with no reminders. I always clean up.







I always follow all classroom rules and never cause a classroom disturbance. I am Always helpful.






S+=15-11 S=10-6 NI=5-0 Total


Art Concept (s):

  • Artists use their imagination

  • A pun is a play on words - a humorous use of words that involves a word or phrase that has more than one possible meaning. A visual pun gives new meaning to a word or phrase using images.

Lesson Objectives:

  • See objects in a different way - work with word play

  • Express bird (or fish) with visual symbols and images - use imagination

  • Develop skills in using drawing media

Teacher’s comments:

Parent Signature: _______________________________________Date______________

Bird Names for Visual Puns

Birds of Paradise
Corn Crakes
Elf Owl
Secretary Bird

Fork-tailed swift
Turtle Dove
Man of War Bird
Night Hawk
Grasshopper Sparrow
Egyptian Plover
Rock Hopper Penguin
Yellow Hammer
Umbrella Bird

Grey Winged Trumpeter
Fruit Dove
Elephant Bird
Tiger Parrot
Sandwich Tern
King Penguin
Rose Headed Parakeet
Festive Parrot
Scissor -Tailed Nightjar
Spotted Antbird



The Ice-Cream Cone Coot and Other Rare Birds,. by Arnold Lobel (ISBN:0-8193-0443-3) (copyright 1971) You will find many variations of well drawn birds with very wild names: pencilkeet parrot, cupadee, shuttercluck, soupladle lark...


Friends of a Feather. - A warthog encounters many different birds as he searches for the owner of a beautiful feather. Includes a glossary describing the birds mentioned.



Look at the 3D bird projects here. These can be decorated with found objects.


Fish Names for Visual Puns


Siamese Fighting fish
Paradise fish
Firemouth Cichlid
Convict Cichlid
Zebra Cichlid
Rosy Barb
Tiger Barb
Harlequin Rasbora
Wolf fish
Snake pipefish
Great pipefish
Spiny Dogfish

White Cloud Mountain Fish
Swordtail fish
Bleeding Heart fish
Blind cave fish
Silver Dollar fish
Pencil Fish
Penguin Fish
Scissors Tail Fish
Glass Fish
Armoured Catfish
Jewel Fish
Picked dogfish

Leaf Fish
Clown Loach
Australian Rainbow Fish
Archer Fish
Beacon Fish
Egyptian Mouth-breeder Mosquito Fish
Flag fish
Black Widow fish
Striped Squirrel fish


Many more bird and fish names can be found on line. For the fish lesson, how about putting the names on slips of paper - fold and put a paper clip on each one. Attach a magnet to the end of string and tie to a dowel rod to make a fishing pole. Put fish names in a small wading pool and have the students fish for their fish name. If they don't like the name they got, allow students to toss their name back in and fish for another one after all have had a turn.


National Standards


1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

2. Using knowledge of structures and functions

3. Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

5. Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

6. Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

(make connections to science)

Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes



Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art




Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning


Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories

Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas


Students understand there are different responses to specific artworks


Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner





Bird Visual Puns Gallery

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