2nd grade students learned about the art element space - which tells how close or far the subject is in a picture. The birds they drew were close, so they drew them very large so that the bird went beyond the edge of the paper. We looked at pictures of cardinals as we drew, and noticed that the characteristics that stood out are the red feathers, the crest of feathers on top of the head, and the black mask. Students learned that our cardinal is a male because he's red, not gray like the female. We talked about animal adaptations at that point. The female is camouflaged because it's important that she evades predators to raise her young, while the male is bright red in order to attract females. Once the cardinal was drawn, I showed them how to add branches to the background. Then the painting began! We used medium-sized brushes for most of the painting, small brushes for the black outline, and Q-tips for the snowflakes.