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Merry Animal Masks

Form Model Magic® into decorative animal masks. Create a cast of merry characters based on any story, science unit, or social studies topic!

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Conduct a read aloud focused on animals and their habitats or find information about this topic to share with students. Share the illustsrations in the story with the group and ask them to react to the illustrations. Are they authentic? Are they fanciful? Sketch your favorite creature’s face with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils. Make it authentic or fanciful! Include details to include on your animal mask. Just erase if you change your mind.
    2. Provide students with paper and Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils. Ask them to sketch their favorite creatures' faces. Will these be like the story's illustrations? Will the sketches be authentic to the animal, or fanciful?
    3. Inform students that their sketches will be used to create 3-D masks of the animals. Students begin this process by crumpling recycled newspaper into the basic shape of a mask to use as an armature. Students cover it with masking tape to hold the shape in place. Provide plastic wrap to be placed over the armatures so that the Model Magic® will not stick to the paper.
    4. Students cover the armature with white Model Magic. Create openings for eyes, nose, and mouth. Add raised areas such as eyebrows or lips. Poke holes on the sides or top of the mask to provide a way to hang it when finished. Gently remove the armature. Air-dry the mask for at least 24 hours.
    5. Students cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Crayola Washable Tempera can be used to paint masks. Encourage the use of either realistic or imaginary colors. Air-dry the paint.
    6. To create interesting surface effects, cover the mask with one or more Crayola Tempera Mixing Mediums: Texture It!, Pearl It!, and/or Glitter It! Air-dry the mixing medium. While masks are drying, ask students to create imaginative names for their animal masks and create a name tag for the mask.
    7. Thread yarn through the hanging holes for display.
    8. Provide time in the school day for students to put on their masks and explain to small groups of peers what their animal is, why they chose this particular animal, and its attributes.
  • Standards

    LA: With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

    LA: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.

    SCI: Use observations and information to classify living things as plants or animals based on what they need to survive.

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

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals by Catherine D. Hughes; Animals of America - An Animal Picture Book for Young Children by William Douglas; Animals of Africa - The Children's Picture Book for Learning About Animals by William Douglas; Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia by DK Publishing

    Students work in teams of two to compose an original poem focused on the animals students have represented with their masks. Students prepare to present their poem to classmates wearing their masks.

    Students use the same mask technique to create caricatures of famous historic or contemporary persons. Exaggerate the features of their faces. Arrange the masks in a timeline of birth dates. Challenge classmates to identify the people represented.

    Students wear their masks while being video-recorded. In the videos, students summarize characteristics of their animals, the habitats they live in, food they eat, etc. Challenge classmates to identify what animals are represented.


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