Design an Animal

Victoria Lightfoot, Andrea Kisielius, Catie Burnette, Jenna Helmink

Students will utilize their knowledge of animal habitats to create an original Eric Carle style work of art that represents their researched animal.


Rice paste- requires making ahead of time
Washable paint
Small containers to put the rice paste
Paper towels
A variety of tools to create designs with the paste paint. (ex.- sponges, spoons, forks, paper towels rolls, corks, toothbrushes, and any random disposable tool.)
Drying space


1. Tell students that today, their going to be learning about animals and their habitats. Make a graphic organizer to activate prior knowledge about animals and their homes. For example: in the center of a web, write the word ocean, and around the word, list animals that live in the there).
2. Introduce the book A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. Discuss the author, and read aloud the book. Discuss the authors craft, and artistic techniques. Be sure to highlight the way the author showcases animals and their habitats!
3. Tell students that today, they are going to research an animal of their choice and create a animal habitat collage using the artistic technique by Eric Carle. Prompt the following research guiding questions: what is your animal? where does your animal live? What are some special features located in that environment? (water, tree’s, grass, etc ) At this time, half of the students will use technology (computer/ipads) to research their animals and the second half should work on creating rice paste paper. Allow about 30 minutes, then have groups switch!
4. Once all paper is dry, gather students together and discuss their findings. Explain the artwork expectations and allow students to begin constructing their animal habitat collages. (Make sure that they include details of their animals adaptation.)
5. Have students show and tell about their habitats.

Differentiation Approaches

1. Students with less background knowledge may need to have a list of animals to choose from.
2. Students can “borrow” ideas from examples of books.
3. Students can work with a partner.


1. The creative process that was used and can they teach it to someone else.
2. Final product.
3. Students will report on their topic by explaining with details and speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

1. Students will write their own imaginative narratives about their animal.
2. Students can publish their narratives on an app on their iPad
3. Students can choose to animals that they research and morph them together to create one new animal. They must describe the new animals characteristics and adaptations.
4. Drama teacher uses created animal from narrative and can have students create a character that has unique characteristics including movement and voice.

Additional Details

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