Early Bird Gets the Worm

Early Bird Gets the Worm lesson plan

Design a decorative 3-D mask honoring a local bird.

  • 1.

    In temperate climates, spring arrives each year with a large assortment of birds. Have students find out which colorful species are native to their area. Watch them as they search for food and prepare their nests. Students make a list and sketch the birds they see with a Crayola Fine Tip Marker and note the date. Some bird watchers keep journals year to year, and can predict the changing seasons by the arrival of key species.

  • 2.

    To create a decorative bird mask of a local bird, students begin by making a round mound of recycled newspaper that is as large as their face. Use masking tape to hold the mound's shape.

  • 3.

    Students flatten Crayola Model Magic in their hands until it is about 1/2 inch (2 cm) thick and large enough to cover the newspaper base. Mold it to the base. Create a beak, eyes, and other features by adding Model Magic to the bird mask. Dry.

  • 4.

    Cover a table top with recycled newspaper. Paint the mask with Crayola Washable Paints and Brushes. Dry.

  • 5.

    Attach beads, sequins, or other decorative items with Crayola School Glue. Rubber bands make great worms!


  • LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of aspects of a topic.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.
  • SCI: Construct original explanations of phenomena using knowledge of accepted scientific theory and linking it to models and evidence.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.


  • Invite an amateur bird watcher to share his experiences with students. Prior to the visit, student compose questions for the visitor. After the meeting, students post their learning to a class blog.
  • Encourage students to design original bird masks by adding eye holes and attaching yarn or elastic to the back of the creations. Students base their creations on learning about birds.
  • Students investigate animals that they observe in the spring. Use Crayola Model Magic to create 3-D models of the animals to accompany their organized research. Place the 3-D models in a student-made habitat created as a diorama.
  • Students use their original bird masks as inspiration for a play. In small groups, students compose a one-act play using each of their masks as a character. Encourage children to develop their stories using their research. Students perform the plays live or videotape the presentations and upload them to a class computer for future viewing.