All About Crows
Tell children that because of the way the crow talks and looks some people don’t like them or are afraid of them and have said bad things about the birds. The crow cannot help the way it is just like we can’t change the way we look or speak. We should never treat someone badly or say mean things about someone because of the way they talk or look. Show children several pictures of crows.
The crow is entirely black and unlike most birds have a horrible voice. The “caw, caw,” of the crow can be very annoying. Explain to children that because of its physical characteristics and voice people have associated the crow with bad luck and ill fortune. Russians believed that witches transformed themselves into crows. Some people believed the crow's hoarse voice meant bad weather and storms were coming. However, not everyone viewed the bird as being bad. Certain Native Americans believed crows were sacred and would help mankind along their journey through life and after life. Others believed crows were messengers sent from the spirits in the sky.
Crows are very intelligent birds. They learn quickly that the sound of a car or hunting rifle means danger. Owls eat crows and their eggs. When an owl is coming to harm the bird one crow will signal a group of crows called a “murder”, and the group of birds will come to protect one another.
Crow Welcome Door Hanger
Explain to children that farmers don’t like crows because they love to eat corn; it is one of their favorite foods. That is why farmers put scarecrows in fields to scare the birds away. But crows actually help farmers and our environment too. Crows eat worms and bugs that destroy farmer’s crops. They also eat animals that have died and this helps clean up our roads and land. After talking about crows and scarecrows, have children make a crow welcome door hanger using the materials found below.
- Crow template
- Scarecrow and basket printable
- Corn cut from yellow paper
- Green paper cornstalk and leaves
- Blue heavy paper
- Hole puncher
- Welcome die-cut letters
How to make:
The teacher will provide each student with a crow, scarecrow, basket, corn cutout, strip of green paper and green leaves. Children will color the pictures with crayons and glue them down to the blue paper. Children will draw apples in the basket with their crayons. The teacher can write "Welcome," at the top of the paper or have kids glue diecut block letters on the blue paper. Using the hole puncher, make two holes at the top of the blue paper and string with a piece of yarn. This craft makes a beautiful autumn door hanger.
This Halloween, include the mysterious crow in your classroom decorations. After teaching a little crow mythology and superstitions, have children create this shiny crow jack-o-lantern.
- Orange and green construction paper
- Crow template
- Black marker
How to Make:
The teacher will cut a pumpkin from orange paper and trace a crow onto the pumpkin using a crow template. Cut the crow out of the pumpkin so an open space appears. Cut a circle from the pumpkin to represent the moon. Using a black marker pen, the students will color a piece of tinfoil black and cut a stem from the green paper. Glue the stem on the pumpkin. The teacher will help students tape the tinfoil to the back of the pumpkin leaving a portion where the moon shines through uncolored. The black crow and moon illuminate through the pumpkin making a "spooktacular" Halloween display.
Explain to children what a legend is. Tell children that one legend tells a story about how the black crow was once the color of the rainbow and how he lost his color. Read the book called the Rainbow Crow, by Nancy Van Laane. The story tells about a beautiful crow that was the color of a rainbow until he took a burning stick to the Great Spirit in the sky to try to save his woodland friends that were buried in the snow. The smoke the crow inhaled caused him to lose his beautiful colors and his lovely voice. However, his unselfishness and love for his friends is rewarded because now that he is ugly and cannot sing, the hunters will no longer try to hunt him giving the crow the gift of freedom. After reading the book, let children make their own rainbow crow craft.
Before making the craft, tell students a little about the rainbow and the colors that are in a rainbow in order. Write red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (purple) on the board. Challenge students to color their crow using all the colors of the rainbow.
- Flying crow template
- White paper
How to Make:
Give each student a white crow cutout and crayons. Instruct them to color one side of the crow all black and one side with the colors of the rainbow to represent what the crow looked like before and after carrying the fire stick to the Spirits in the sky. Poke a small hole in the top and tie with a ribbon. Hang the crows from the ceiling in the classroom.
Additonal Crow Facts and Crafts
Additional crow crafts can be found at the artist helping children website. Crows really are unique birds and preschool children will love learning facts and mysterious stories about them while creating a crow craft that will make your classroom look mystical, beautiful and intriguing just like the bird itself.
- Facts about Crows, http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-crow-2011.html
- Artists Helping Children, http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/crows-ravens-crafts.html
- Scarecrow, crow and corn templates: The Mailbox Magazine, October issue
- Crafts and photos by Lisa King, all rights reserved.
- Laane Van, Nancy. Rainbow Crow. Dragonfly Books. 1991.
- Religions and Spiritualities, http://www.religions-and-spiritualities-guide.com/animal-totem-crow.html
- Crow Busters, http://www.crowbusters.com/facts.htm#acrow