Skip to main content

Wire Endangered Birds (lesson plan)


Students research of endangered birds of the United States and the impact this has on the ecosystem of the area. Then, they use wire to create an endangered bird and place words of what is endangering them within the body of the bird.

Subject Areas
Science, Visual Arts
Environment, Impact
NC Standards Correlations
Bio 2.1.3, Bio.2.2.1, Bio.2.2.2
Visual Arts
V.2, V.3,B.V.1.2, B.V.2.1, B.V.3.1, B.V.3.2, B.CV.2.2, B.CR.1.2, I.V.2.2, I.V.3.1, I.CX.1.2, I.CR.1.2, P.V.1.4

Artwork Related to this Lesson

  • The Birds of America, Plate #231: "Long-billed Curlew"

    The Birds of America, Plate #231: "Long-billed Curlew", by John James Audubon

    It is easy to see how the long-billed curlew got its name. The largest species of shorebird, its bill can...

    learn more

Student Learning Objectives

  1. To learn about endangered birds and the impact we as humans have on our environment.
  2. To learn about the Elements of Art as we create a line outline of the endangered bird of choice to create the shape of the bird using our observational skills to work on shape, form and proportion.
Use left and right arrows to navigate between tabs.


  1. Review symbiotic relationships and patterns in competition relationships (Predator/Prey) and how stability within an ecosystem can benefit multiple species.
  2. Explore the impact humans have on modifying ecosystems, how this comes about (population growth, consumption of resources), and human impact on natural resources.
  3. Discuss ways to help conserve resources for other species and stewardship.
  4. Look at Audubon print.
  5. Lead students in a discussion about the artwork. Sample questions could include:
    1. What do you see within this print?
    2. Why do you think Audubon chose this subject (birds) to illustrate?
    3. Why is this type of documentation important to our society?
    4. How could this be used to inform future generations?
    5. Where do you think Audubon created his artwork?
  6. Inform students that they will be researching endangered birds of North America and creating a wire sculpture of their selected bird.
  7. Have students research endangered birds of North America. Making sure each student chooses a bird not chosen by another.
  8. Demonstrate wire working techniques and introduce the needle nose pliers.
  9. After, have the students create a drawing or tracing of the bird chosen. Using wire follow the outline of the bird drawn.
  10. Use wire to then begin creating the shape and form of the bird in the 3rd dimension.
  11. Once the bird is complete, have the student write with sharpie on acetate or cellophane the reasons why the bird is endangered.
  12. Cut into strips to insert within the wire form.
  13. After, have the students discuss the bird they chose and give a brief presentation to the class showcasing their wire creation.
  14. Have students name their artwork and complete the reflection once they are finished.
  15. Create an installation of all the birds within the school environment to help others learn about the subject.


Have students present their findings and complete a written reflection on what they learned through this process.

The wire bird should show technical understanding of techniques for working with wire.

Vocabulary selected for use in the bird should demonstrate the student’s research on endangered birds.

Lesson Resources














Access to computers for research

14 gauge Aluminum wire

Acetate or Cellophane (clear)


Needle nose pliers with the cutting tool


Related Content