Creature Features

Creature Features lesson plan

Explore the animal kingdom! Shape creatures and their features—dots, stripes, prickly tongues, or antennae—one creature at a time.

  • 1.

    Ask students how they can tell which animals are which? First learn their main features. Who has a trunk? What animal has a furry mane around its face? Each animal’s physical appearance makes that animal unique and helps identify it.

  • 2.

    Students choose an animal to make. Cover a handful of white Crayola Model Magic® with color from a Crayola Washable Gel Marker. Blend until optimal color is achieved.

  • 3.

    Shape the animal’s main features first. Then build the rest of the animal. Model Magic fresh from the pack sticks to itself. Air-dry the creature.

  • 4.

    If desired, add more animal details with markers. Create a menagerie!


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • LA: With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and their own clearly.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.
  • SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.


  • Have several picture books about animals available in the classroom such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle; The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle; From Caterpillar to Butterfly Big Book by Deborah Heiligman; Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey; Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
  • Organize a class field trip to a local zoo. Seek out less familiar animals and discuss their unique features. Upon returning to the classroom, have students sketch an animal that they saw at the zoo. Have students post to a class blog their new learning from the field trip.
  • Working in small groups, students compose an original story about a selected animal. After revising as needed, students can also illustrate a scene from their story using Crayola Crayons or markers.