Beautiful Blackbird art project with free download

Beautiful Blackbird Art Project



This lesson is a wonderful addition to you Black History Month collection of lessons. Children learn about the world of artist Ashley Bryan and his book Beautiful Blackbird, while creating a composition emphasizing cutting, pasting, repetition, balance and contrast. It’s a good exercise in fostering fine motor skills as the students cut out the template and plan for how to arrange all of their pieces to have a balanced work of art.

Here are a few of my other favorite picture books to read to your students for Black History Month.

Watch the video tutorial here…

Click the yellow button below to DOWNLOAD the drawing handout for the Beautiful Blackbird template as well as this months February Freebie Pack. Add your name and email and we’ll send it straight to you!

Click here to subscribe


  • 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper
  • 9″ x 12″ black sulphite paper
  • Thin strips of colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Bird & sun template/guide
  • 9″ x 12″ yellow sulphite paper (for optional background)


After reading and discussing Beautiful Blackbird by Ashley Bryan with your students, start by having the kids grab their sun templates (or paper plate) to make their sun.

Trace a semi-circle with yellow paper and cut with scissors.

Cut about 5 strips of long rectangles to make sun beams.

Glue the sun and rectangles with a glue stick to the bottom of your paper.

beautiful blackbird art project for kids black history month art project

If your strips are too long and hanging over the edge, flip paper over and trip the excess strips.


Photocopy the beautiful blackbird template onto cardstock, cut out and use as a tracer for younger students. Or, use the template or illustrations in the book to free draw the blackbird onto black paper with a light colored crayon or oil pastel.

beautiful blackbird art project for kids black history month art project

Cut out the bird and place on top of the sun. Glue it down when you are happy with the placement.

Tip: don’t add glue all the way to the edge of the paper bird. You’ll want to slip the colored pieces of paper under the edge of the bird.


Select the variety of colorful paper strips for the finishing touch. Glue it all together when you are happy with the placement and colors of your strips.

beautiful blackbird art project for kids black history month art project

Lastly, just like the sun, if you strips are too long then flip over your paper and trim any excess strips.

Have you tried this lesson? I’d love to hear how the instructions worked for you or if you tried a new technique, comment below!

I created a detailed lesson plan within the Sparklers Membership Club where you can get a more detailed lesson plan including National Core Art Standards for 1st grade, an Assessment Checklist, full length instruction video and plenty more Black History Month art lessons to choose from.

For more information on joining, sign up to our waitlist HERE.

Click the button below to DOWNLOAD the February Freebie Pack for more fun art lesson you can use this month!

Click here to subscribe

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Beautiful Blackbird art project

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  • Rania M Awad

    the yellow button doesnt work??

    • Monica

      I am looking for the template, but the yellow button above is not working. Is there any other way to get the blackbird template?

      • Bethany

        Hi Monica! I just tested the link and everything is working on our end. Are you using Firefox as your browser? We’ve recently learned that our downloads aren’t working with a Firefox browser, so I’d suggest using Chrome or Safari instead. If you add your email to the box we will send it directly to your email address. Be sure to check your spam or junk folders. You can also reach out to us at support@deepspacesparkle.com

  • Farah kashif

    Love your art work this is farah I m working as an art teacher

  • Dora F. D. Palma

    Beautifull and Very créative.

    • Antonella Ancona

      Wonderful ideas for age Levels

  • Marcie

    My first grade loved this lesson! We found a video on YouTube of the book with a great narrator.

  • Sujata Sachdeva

    I just love Deep space sparkle

  • Antonella Ancona

    Wonderful ideas

  • keita Jones


  • Rebba Pitsenbarger

    We are using items on hand. Instead of colored paper we are going to use colored craft sticks, half of a paper plate painted yellow for the sun, black sparkle foam for the bird and elmer’s glue. The size of it is undetermined until it is complete.

  • Jill

    I have not received my templates?

    • Bethany

      Hi Jill! Thanks so much for requesting this lesson. You should receive a copy directly in your inbox. Be sure to check your spam or junk folder in case it ended up there. Enjoy

  • Elizabeth Hall

    Rest In Peace to the artist/author Ashley Bryan . He passed away February 4, 2022. He inspired the DSS project Beautiful Blackbird. My students enjoyed the book and the art project.

    • Patty

      Oh, I hadn’t heard. Oh my. What a loss of such inspiration and talent.
      Thank you for letting me know 🙂

  • Lacie

    I love your art! Thanks for sharing:)

  • Shell Alvarez

    I love the black bird project. However, the download links is not working.

    • Bethany

      Hi Shell! Thanks for your interest in our lesson. Everything is working on our end. If you click the download button and add your email address we will send the lesson directly to your inbox. Something we’ve noticed is that our system works best with either the Chrome or Safari browser. Be sure to check your Spam or Junk folders to make sure it didn’t end up there. Enjoy.

  • Mary Tharp

    I am a substitute teacher and so appreciate your art ideas. I work with elementary students and they love art. Thank you…thank you…thank you!

  • Jill Zavala

    I am a member and it doesn’t let me open anything, download anything…I try to log in and it says email not found etc etc

    • Bethany

      Hi Jill! If you are interested in a lesson you can scroll down and click the download button and add your email address we will send the lesson directly to your inbox. Be sure to check your Spam or Junk folders to make sure it didn’t end up there. We’ve noticed our website doesn’t work well with the Firefox browser so please be sure to use Safari or Chrome. If you are a Sparkler the full version of the lesson may be available inside the membership. If you need help logging in to The Sparklers’ Club please reach out to support@deepspacesparkle.com for help!

  • Barbara

    My students ranging from K-2 loved this project. Great way to work on scissor skills! The finished product was beautiful as the book was. Thank you for this great project.

  • Alice E Kirkwood

    Hi – I remember seeing an example of the bird being decorated with oil pastels perhaps. Do you have a photo of that? Thought it might enhance the project for older students.

    Thank You!!

  • Maria

    This project is really lovely! I just showed my kids a reading of the book to get them started and then we did the backgrounds. We’re going to do the blackbird as a step by step drawing next time! I wanted to just say that the lesson has been great so far and to recommend this particular reading I found on Youtube. I was having trouble finding an Ashley Bryan reading that also included time to stop and look at the pictures, since it seems the videos of his readings focus more on him and his performance than the book. This youtuber I found, Mr.Jesse, did an awesome job singing and showing dancing along with the story and it made it feel so alive, in keeping with the spirit of Ashley Bryan’s reading, but still showing the pictures fully! https://youtu.be/ZeMAJ5VkyY8

    And when I asked the kids afterwards, they seemed really impressed! (Though it might not suit every setting. He gives them some time to dance and it might be important to remind kids in a crowded room that we can’t necessarily get UP and dance, but we can wiggle in our seats!)


    I’ve had Grade 1 students create this in the past. The story is wonderful and the students have a great time creating this fabulous artwork.

  • Jo-Anne

    hi there
    I am excited to try this lesson.
    I can’t seem to download the template for the blackbird.
    would you mind emailing it to me please?

    • Bethany

      Hi Jo-Anne, we are so happy that you are interested in our lesson. if you click the download button and add your email address we will send the lesson directly to your inbox. Be sure to check your Spam or Junk folders to make sure it didn’t end up there. We have found that both the Chrome or Safari browsers work best so be sure to try using one of those. Enjoy.

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