Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Art
- Nonfiction books with pictures of a variety of animals, including Animal Faces by Akira Satoh and Kyoko Toda (Kane/Miller Publishers, 2000; $5.95) and Spots, Feathers, and Curly Tails by Nancy Tafuri (William Morrow, 1991; $16.99)
- Materials for designing masks: paper plates, yarn, colored construction paper, small paper cups or egg-carton sections, tissue paper, feathers, and markers
- Tempera paints, cups of water, and small paintbrushes
- Hole punch
- Child-safety scissors/glue
- Science concepts
- Creative thinking
- Fine motor
Show the class books or photographs of different animal faces and encourage children to observe the faces of classroom pets. Discuss variations in size, shape, color, markings, body texture, and specific features, such as noses, mouths or beaks, ears, eyes, teeth, fur, feathers, skin.
Tell children they will make animal masks. Explain that they can make an imaginary or real animal. Have books and photographs of animal faces available for reference.
Set up the art area with the suggested materials and give children paper plates to use for their masks. Before they begin, measure where the eye holes will go, so an adult can cut out eye areas large enough for children to safely look out of.
Invite children to paint or draw their masks using a variety of materials in their design. Some children may need assistance in identifying the type of animal they'd like to make before gathering their materials. After glue and paint have dried, punch holes on the sides of the mask and attach pieces of yarn long enough to tie around each child's head.
Invite children to model and describe their masks. Put the masks on, play music, and have an animal parade. Invite pairs of children to create "animal conversations," or ask small groups to create or dramatize favorite animal stories or rhymes.
Remember: Some children may not like the way the mask feels on their face. Offer the option of holding their masks with their hands or attaching a large craft stick to the bottom portion so that they can hold up the mask.
TAKE HOME ACTIVITY:
Animal Sounds: Ask parents to take a sensory walk with their children through the neighborhood, a nearby park, zoo, or pet store to listen to and identify animal sounds.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: MOVEMENT
Animal moves: Invite children to wear their masks and create a special movement typical of their animal. Play music and encourage everyone to create an animal dance. Have fun, and do an animal conga line around the classroom.
Counting Creatures: Pop-up Animals from 1 to 100 by David Pelham (Simon & Schuster Children's, 2004; $16.95)
Monkeys by Susan Canizares and Pamela Chanko (Scholastic, 1 997; $3.25)
Walking Through the Jungle by Julie Lacome (Candlewick Press, 2003; $3.99)