Readers Are Leaders

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owls bulletin board 2I imagine all teachers at one time or another has wished that bulletin boards would dress themselves.  Of course, it hasn’t and won’t happen that way, so there must be a way to lessen the pain of getting that project done.  This project is the first of, what I’m hoping will be, a number of ideas that can be used as a classroom art project or on a bulletin board.  Since I love the way kids do art, which is usually a bit less than perfect, I think that a teacher could be helped immensely by using the help of the students to make great bulletin boards.

This project will be using patterns that I made for a library display (pictured above.)  I used cardboard for the owls because, not only did I want the pieces to last for years to come, but also because I wanted some of the owls to stand.  When it came to filling the display, it actually worked better without the shelf, so the owls didn’t need the stands and I could have cut around the owl feet instead.


  • Choice of:    Cardboard, cereal box, white card stock, white poster board or white construction paper
  • Owl and Wings (Pattern)
  • Tracing paper (if using cardboard or cereal box)
  • Scissors
  • White craft or poster paint (if using cardboard or cereal box)
  • Craft paints, colored markers or crayons
  • Glue


owls-leaders 2The owl pattern can be printed directly on card stock or poster board.  To make owls using cardboard, make a template from the pattern and then trace onto the cardboard.In the tutorial photos, I’ve used cereal box cardboard to make the owls with the thought that owls, made using the cardboard, could be saved and used other years on a bulletin board. 

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I gave all of the cardboard owls and wings a base coat of white paint so the colors used over them would be cleaner.  Poster board or card stock could be used to avoid this step. 

owls-leaders 5Instead of tracing the eyes and breast on the owl, I cut a template from my pattern and used it to draw in the eyes.  The largest eye circle is also the breast circle.  I like doing it this way because each owl isn’t exactly alike when done like this.

owls-leaders 6

I used craft paint on two of the owls, colored markers on one of them and crayons on one. 

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owls-leaders 9b

The teal owl and green owl are painted using craft paints.

The yellow owl was colored using colored markers

The tan owl was colored using crayons.

As you can see, any of the methods give very nice results.  It’s really a matter of if you are doing this alone, or if you are having students help.

When I made the owls for the library display, I finished them by giving them a couple of coats of sealer.  I think that running them through the laminator would be sufficient, especially if the pieces are made of poster board or card stock or cereal box, instead of heavy cardboard.

For the library display we used the caption, “Readers Become Leaders.” And made little labels that the kids could sign that read, “I’m a leader in training.”

The owls have comment clouds that say:

  • Leaders Help Others
  • Leaders Ask Questions
  • Leaders Give Praise
  • Leaders Credit the Team
  • Leaders Listen
  • Leaders say, “Thank You”
  • Leaders Prepare
  • Leaders  Are Optimists

 The tree and large owl were purchased earlier, but a simple tree form can be drawn on brown paper instead.  Magnifying the owl pattern would give you a larger owl, if you wanted one for the caption, but using larger cut out letters would be great also.

Other bulletin board and art ideas would be:

“Look Whooooos In Second Grade.”   Maybe have the kids write their name in the owl breast  circle.

“Math Makes You a Wise Guy”      

 “Give a Hoot “   

 “Look Whoooo’s A Wise Guy”  

For grades Kindergarten through second, print the owl on white construction paper, have the kids color the owl and wings, cut the pieces out and paste on a sheet of colored construction paper.   They could write, “Owl Always Love Art” around the edge.

I hope this is an idea that you can run with and change however it suits your needs.

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