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Art & Writing...A lesson inspired by "Birds" by Kevin Henkes

A Writing and Art Project from WritingFix
Writing Project: A Short Verb Poem Art Project: A Marble Painting

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The Writing Lesson

The Art Lesson


About this lesson's author:

Shannon Allan is a first grade teacher in Sparks, Nevada. She is currently working with a team teacher and enjoys sharing writing ideas with her partner. Shannon loves to incorporate art with her writing lessons.


The Art Lesson:
Marble Painting

This writing and art project was written by Northern Nevada teacher Shannon Allan during the NNWP's inservice class on Art & Writing Projects. Shannon is a first grade teacher in Northern Nevada.

This page contains the art portion of this two-part lesson. Click here to view the accompanying writing lesson plan.

Art Lesson Overview:

Students paint a picture using marbles and tempera paint. Students copy their finished bird poems onto their dried paintings.

Lesson Materials:

  • White paper for each student
  • 1 marble for each student
  • Tempura paint (desired colors) on a plate or something similar
  • 1 box top or tray with sides for each student
  • Wet wipes for each student

Art Lesson Instructions:

  • Cut paper so it's an appropriate size to fit inside the box lids or trays the students will use.
  • Have the students dip their marble in one color of paint and roll the paint-covered marble around on top of their paper, which should be inside their tray or box top.
  • Have students use their wet wipe to clean off the marble; then have them dip it into the next color paint and then roll the marble around on their paper again.
  • Repeat until all colors of paint have been used. Encourage them to keep it their designs simple by showing them a teacher-made example.

We're Seeking Photographed Student Samples:

Teachers: We're looking for photographed student samples for this lesson that we can feature here. Do you have a revised and edited sample to share? Take a photo of the final product, and send attachments to us at Please write "Bird Verb Poems" in your e-mail's subject line. If we publish your sample here, we will send you a complimentary copy of one of the NNWP's Print Publications for your classroom.

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