Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Birds, Beautiful Birds!

Recovery Curriculum Resources from Leeds Museum and Galleries

These resources are designed to support a recovery curriculum and can be used in any education setting. They complement the ‘Supporting the Return to School for All Pupils’ guidance in Leeds and the PACE approach of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy.


white ceramic bird shaped vessel, with a large opening in the top of the bird, and the beak acting as a spout
Ceramic Chinese Water Dropper

This resource has a downloadable powerpoint of all the images including extra ones of real birds.



Start with some bird inspired yoga poses:

  • Egg pose – cuddle in to a ball on the floor, head tucked in and give a little wobble.
  • Hello Bird pose – the egg has cracked! From egg pose stand tall with hands high.
  • Flamingo pose – palms together to the sky, place one foot against the opposite leg and balance. Try switching sides.
  • Penguin pose – stand tall with feet hip-width apart, hands by your side with palms outwards. Gently move from side-to-side like a penguin waddle.
  • Peacock pose – crouch down on tip-toes, palms together, pushing up to the sky and fanning out your arms like a peacock. Wiggle your fingers and give a shimmy.

Can you come up with any more?


Blue and white ceramic vase with an image of a bird in the centre and wave motifs around it
Japanese Vase with Bird Design




Expressive Communication and Self Esteem

Birds are wonderful at expressing themselves through their colourful plumage and their different calls.

Close up showing the head and neck of a white peacock, with the spread of tail feathers in the background.
White Peacock

Think about colours as a form of expressing emotion. What colours would your pupils choose to represent themselves?

A panel of a cupboard door decorated with the image of a kingfisher by a river.
Close-up of a Decorated Cabinet

Give a choice of coloured papers and write positive affirmations connected to the colour, for example 'Today I am yellow because I feel excited',  'Today I am red because I am brave and strong'.




Painting with feathers

Simply replace paintbrushes for feathers. Ask your class to try paint the shape of a feather or any type of bird using only a feather as a painting tool.

Pair of ceramic vases in white, blue and pink. Two birds on each vase with pink and blue flowers in the background
Pair of Japanese Vases

Mindful Painting

When painting with feathers, slow down each stroke on the paper. Make large marks and make small marks. Try using large feathers and small feathers for different effects. For a multi-sensory activity, play relaxing bird song music in the background. 

A group of pink coloured flamingos.


Birds are known to mimic different sounds and tones. In pairs try a mirroring activity - it might be expressive faces, body movements or sound effects. The aim is to have fun and connect with your partner and maybe even learn something new about them.

A marble table top decorated with exotic birds
Detail of William Burges Designed Table