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Lion in the Grass

Students talk about animals and their habitats and mix paint to create a wildlife scene.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Gather students in a common area of the classroom and open a discussion about animals and their habitats. Where do people live? What do we know about lions (or any other animal the class has studied)?
    2. Review primary and secondary colors and the idea of color mixing. Where do we see these colors in our classroom?
    3. Students return to their seats and are given plates with primary colors of Crayola tempera, paper for painting and a paint brush. Instruct students to put their paper horizontally in front of them.
    4. Ask students to mix purple tempera (two parts red and one part blue) to draw a horizon line about one third of the way down the paper. Add hills above the line with a wavy horizontal line and color them in purple.
    5. Show students how to clean their brushes and mix orange (two parts yellow and one part red) or brown (mix orange and then add half part blue). Students use orange and browns to create the foreground. Talk about where lion lives and what this environment might look like.
    6. Students clean brushes again and prepare to fill in the sky with pale blue and white paint on their papers.
    7. Once the sky is complete and the background is drying, have students practice drawing a lion for their pictures. Draw it step by step on a recycled piece of construction paper. (A good reference book for this activity Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks).
    8. When the painting is dry, draw a lion on the foreground in black. Add detail with green (two parts yellow and one part blue) including plants and grass.
    9. Students sign their names on the bottom of their papers and bring them to the front of class to share with peers.
    10. Students share by asking the questions: What element did you use to paint your lion and habitat? What do you like about your work? What would you do differently if you could do this over?
  • Standards

    SCI: Use observations to describe patterns of what animals (including humans) need to survive.

    SCI: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

    VA: Use observation and investigation to make a work of art.

    VA: Create art that represents natural and constructed environments.

    VA: Use art vocabulary to describe choices while creating.

    VA: Compare images that represent the same subject.

  • Adaptations

    Encourage students to paint themselves in their own habitats. What do we need to have in our environment?

    Invite students to go home and investigate animal favorites. What does that animal need to have in its habitat?

    Construct a habitat and animal out of found objects. Start with a shoe box or other three dimensional base.


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