Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Art
- Large banner or flag pieces made of felt or tagboard
- Material and felt scraps of all kinds
- Markers and crayons
- Social awareness
- Critical thinking
Children love animals of all kinds, but elephants, tigers, pandas, and rhinos are especially intriguing to young ones. Hang up large posters and pictures of these animals around the room. Provide a collection of resources that children can share, such as nature magazines and wildlife calendars. Discuss the various endangered animals and why they aren't safe anymore.
Engage children in a discussion about these wonderful animals. What do they know about elephants, pandas, tigers, and rhinos? Write their answers on a large sheet of chart paper. What does the word endangered mean? How did this happen to the animals? What are people doing to help these animals? Do you think we can help them? Explain that they will have a chance to create a banner or flag about one of these special animals to remind everyone of their plight.
Help children develop a list of all the endangered animals they can think of or find in the available resources. Let each child choose an animal he or she wants to represent.
Invite children to draw and cut out outlines of their animal from tagboard. Help them to use these templates for drawing on and cutting the other materials. Give each child a banner or flag piece. Help them plan out what they will make and where they will glue their information. Be sure to encourage children to experiment with different arrangements before they glue down any of their animals, slogans, or pictures.
Make an endangered animal display. String a rope in a corner of your classroom and hang up each child's work with clothespins.
Remember: Children of this age are not too young to hear the large vocabulary words encountered when discussing endangered animals. Help them repeat the big words with you, and use them often. Ask questions that give children an opportunity to use these words.
A Visit to the Zoo: Suggest that parents visit a zoo with their child. Animals are always a great topic of conversation with children. Emphasize that parents can use this opportunity to support language skills by asking questions and responding to their child's comments. Also suggest that they take photos of the endangered animals and create a scrapbook together.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: SOCIAL STUDIES
Animals on Parade! Have an animal parade through your school, or even out into the community. Invite children to bring in any stuffed animals or toy replicas of endangered animals they might have. This is a great opportunity to bring awareness of the endangered animals' plight to everyone in the community.
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
Who Lives in the Rainforest? by Susan Canizares and Mary Reid
Will We Miss Them? by Alexandra Wright