This was a successful project that I tried a few years ago. Students used symmetry to make their owl look as real (and cute!) as possible. .

1. To make a pattern, students use an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of old newsprint and fold it in half the long way. They draw the outline of a simple owl as shown, making sure the center was on the fold of the paper. With the paper still folded, they cut out the owl.
2. The newsprint owl is centered on a sheet of 9″ x 12″ sheet of black paper and traced around the edge with a pencil. The rest of the owl is drawn, starting with the brow lines, then the centered diamond beak, then the eyes and then wings. The goal was to have the owl drawn as symmetrically as possible.
3. When the drawing was complete, the students traced the pencil with a black oil pastel. To color the owl, I asked that they use realistic colors (brown, white or gray).
4. After the owl was thoroughly colored (no paper showing) students cut out their owls. One teacher opted to tape groups of them to long ribbons so they could hang in her room – lots of possibilities for decorating.