Bird's Eye View Art Lesson Plan

Instructor: Carrin Hahn

Carrin taught 3rd grade for ten years, worked as a learning specialist with K-5 students, and has a Master's degree in Elementary Education.

Students will learn a little bit about perspective and much about the 'bird's-eye-view' of an object. The students will have several opportunities to practice drawings from this perspective.

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this lesson, the third-grade students will be able to:

  • Define the meaning of 'perspective'
  • Explain what 'bird's-eye-view' means
  • Draw objects from the bird's-eye-view


60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • Please note that each state has different standards for art. Please consult your state's standards to ensure proper alignment.

Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Perspective
  • Bird's-eye-view


  • White paper
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Water bottles or lunchboxes
  • Calculators (enough for every pair of students to have one)
  • Chapter books (enough for every pair of students to have one)
  • Maybe a clothesline or string and clothes pins or tape

Lesson Preparation

  • You will need to have something that is suspended from the ceiling or up on a wall, like a light fixture or art hanging from a clothesline.
  • If there is nothing like that, you will need to secure the string across the room (or part of it) at least a few feet above the students' heads. Then hang a few pieces of paper (with or without work on them) on the string with clothes pins or tape.

Lesson Instructions

  • Have the students sit on the floor under the string or the light fixture with their heads tilted to look directly up at the object. Ask them to describe what they see.
  • Next, have the students stand far away from the object, and ask them to describe what they see.
  • Tell the students they are viewing the object from different 'perspectives'.
  • Define perspective and explain in more detail what that means.
  • Have the students get their water bottles or lunchboxes.
    • Once they are back at their seats, have everyone hold up the object as high in the air above themselves as they can. What do they see?
    • Then, have them put the object on the desk in front of them. How is this view different?
    • Next, have the students put the object on the floor and stand directly over it. Explain that this is called the 'bird's-eye-view'.
  • Ask the students if they know what that means and why it is called that.
  • Create a class definition of bird's-eye-view and write it on the board.
  • Have students look at their object again, make sure students understand that they should not see the picture on the side of the lunchbox or the label on the water bottle unless those things are on the bottom!

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