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A New Zoo Opens!

Students report on their favorite animals then create eye-catching zoo programs with hand-made stencils and paint rollers.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Ask students to cut three large squares from different colored construction paper using Crayola Scissors. Set one sheet aside. Divide the other 2 sheets into three rows of three equal squares by folding paper into three equal sections horizontally and vertically. Open sheets to reveal fold lines.
    2. Use Crayola Scissors to cut 2 squares of oaktag the same size as one of the squares on the folded paper. In the center of one square draw a simple outline of a zoo animal. In the center of the other draw the outline of a plant or leaf from the animal's natural environment.
    3. The tip of the scissors can be used to poke a hole in the middle of each drawing. From the inside, cut out both shapes. Discard the inside piece. The outline (or negative shape) is the stencil.
    4. After covering the work area with recycled newspaper, ask students to choose two colors of Crayola Washable Paint. Roll each color out, with a foam roller, on a recycled foam produce tray.
    5. To start a checkerboard design, place one stencil in the corner square of one of the creased pages of construction paper. Roll the paint evenly over the stencil opening with the foam roller. Repeat, using the same stencil and paint color, on the other three corners and in the center of the page. Set aside stencil, paint, and paper.
    6. Now work with the second stencil, paint color, and unfolded paper grid. Use stencil to make four more print on the corner square only. Set aside to dry.
    7. Use Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils or a computer to write a report on the zoo animal and its environment. Use special language to make it sound as though the animals is being introduced at the new zoo!
    8. When the paint is dry, cut out the four printed pieces from the second stencil set. Use Crayola School Glue to secure them in the spaces left in the first stencil page, which is the cover. Place the cover on top, then the program, and finally the third square sheet of construction paper. Glue or staple the pieces together to make a complete program.
  • Standards

    LA: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills.

    LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in text.

    LA: Know and use various text features to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

    MATH: Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz; l, ml; hr, min, sec.

    MATH: Compose two-dimensional shapes or three-dimensional shapes.

    SCI: Engage in a critical reading of primary literature of science, appropriate to grade level, and discuss hypotheses and conclusions.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    SS: Work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals.

    VA: Know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Know how the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Have math resources on tessellations available in classroom. Possible resources include Action Math: Patterns by Ivan Bulloch; Investigating Patterns: Symmetry & Tessellations by Jill Britton (upper grades); Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris; Pattern Bugs by Trudy Harris; Math Counts: Patterns by Henry Pluckrose.

    Website for further independent student investigation: Investigating Patterns: Symmetry & Tessellations at Multiple online activities included for student enrichment.

    Interactive website: NCTM Illuminations: Tessellation Maker at Further student research into tessellations can be done at Cool Math 4 Kids: Tessellations:

    Teacher resource website: The Math Forum @ Drexel - Pattern Making Activities for Classroom Use at

    Have students investigate the career of a zoo curator, what life at a zoo is like, and/or the future of zoos. Classroom resources could include: What happens at a Zoo? By Amy Hutchings & Lisa M. Guidone; Wild Things: Untold Tales from the First Century of the Saint Louis Zoo by Patricia Corrigan; Animals Always: 100 Years at the Saint Louis Zoo by Mary Delach Leonard; Life at the Zoo: Behind the Scenes with the Animal Doctors by Phillip T. Robinson; The Rhino with Glue-On Shoes: And Other Surprising True Stories of Zoo Vets and their Patients edited by Lucy H. Spelman and Ted Y. Mashima.

    OPENER: How exciting! You have been appointed as the curator for a new zoo in your town! One of your jobs is to bring new and exciting animals for people to see and learn about.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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