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Compound Species

Create new animals with combined parts for a "menagerarium" display of biodiversity.

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

    1. Students cut out pictures of animals, fish, birds, and insects from recycled magazines with Crayola Scissors. Have students sort pictures on the classroom floor into categories: land, sea, and air creatures. Students identify special parts of animals in each category and choose two animals to combine into a new creature.
    2. With one color of Crayola Model Magic, students create the body of an animal. Then use another color of Model Magic to make animal parts from a different creature. Mix up the parts of the two animals to make an entirely new Compound Species. The more exaggerated the body part, the more dramatic the final product will be.
    3. Students glue feathers, buttons, or other decorative materials to the creature with Crayola School Glue. Let the animal air dry for about 24 hours.
    4. With Crayola Watercolors or Crayola Washable Markers, add designs and patterns to the Compound Species. Students give each an imaginary name. Display in a "menagerarium" for others to visit.
  • Standards

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

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.

    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.

  • Adaptations

    Students may work on new animals in pairs. Once developed, students will write an informative paragraph explaining what the parts of the animal are and how they work together to create a workable creature.

    Students interview teams about their new creature. Original questions for the interviews can be composed as a whole class prior to the interviews.

    Two groups of students collaborate to compose an original narrative that tells a story about the two new creatures interacting in nature. The story can be word processed, illustrated, and bound. Provide classroom space to display the models, informative paragraphs, and narratives together in the classroom.


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