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How To Make A Bird

With amazing illustrations by Matt Ottley this book has been shortlisted to be the CBCA 2021 Picture Book of the Year. Written in what McKinley describes as prose poetry it is a story of a girl who sets out to literally construct a bird. After it is built she realises that life is more than just pieces of bones and feathers but something fleeting and intangible.

A story better read to older children the activities we have created for this book are aimed at Year 5 and 6 students or even those in their first years of high school. There is a perspective activity to look at Ottley’s use of the sun to create shadows and build depth, an activity to draw a soaring bird, an activity to draw a single feather, a poetry activity to explore the beauty of McKinley’s words, a fun bird flip book and a final activity putting the book into chronological order to literally build a bird.

Make sure you watch the video above to see each of these activities and some additional ideas on how you can explore this story and the related games we have on our website.


The games below are advertisement free and will open in a new window. They can be played by children online as many times as they like. The Match Up Memory Card Game will allow children to improve their memory while the Maze Game lets them develop strategy and problem solving skills while having fun. These games will also build children's attention, concentration and focus, visual recognition and short-term memory. Enjoy.

Free Teaching Resources

Casting Shadows

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Premium Teaching Resources

Grid Drawing

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Bird Feathers

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Flip Book

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