Endangered Species Animal Masks
Go wild with vibrant animal masks and a lesson in endangered species.
Students will learn about endangered species in the United States and will build their own endangered animal masks out of recycled materials.
Elmer's X-treme School Glue Stick*, Elmer's School Glue*, colorful cardstock, scissors, hole punch, elastic string, decorations such as glitter, feathers, beads, and buttons
SET UP AND PREPARE
- To begin this lesson, teach students about endangered species. National Geographic Kids has great resources on the topic (visit kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com), and Word Wildlife Fund has an up-to-date list of animals in danger (http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/).
- Ask students to conduct research in groups by searching online for the answers to the following questions: What makes a species endangered? What makes them extinct? What contributes to population decline or growth? How do humans contribute to the problem? How can humans help?
- Next, invite students to choose an animal that is endangered, (for example, the Burrowing Owl, Arctic Fox, or River Otter). Students should make a list of interesting facts about their animals, such as region, habitat, population size, diet, physical characteristics, hunting techniques, and more.
1. To build the animal masks, begin by passing around colorful, sturdy cardstock for the base of the mask. Students can choose what color they'd like to use, depending on their animal. If you'd like to save time, cut the shape of the mask out beforehand. Or, instruct students to cut out a wide oval, with a triangle or circle shape in the middle three-fourths down from the top for the nose. Students should also cut out two small circles for the eyes.
2. Next, invite students to use Elmer's X-treme School Glue Stick or Elmer's School Glue to fasten feathers, beads, glitter, buttons, and other decorations to their masks. These embellishments should make their animals identifiable and should give their masks personality and flare. Let the masks dry.
3. Use a hole punch to punch a hole at both ends of the mask. Cut pieces of elastic string (about two feet long), thread each end through the holes in the mask, and tie.
4. Encourage students to present their masks and their accompanying research on their animals to the class. Hang the masks in the classroom for a beautiful display of student work!