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Predator and Prey

This Science + Art activity has students incorporating fact-based drawings while using their color illustrations to find a classmate’s “predator or prey.”

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface. The Earth's oceans are all connected to one another. Scientists have labeled different depth zones of the ocean. Each zone has unique characteristics such as water temperature, amount of light and creatures that live there. The top zone is the sunlight zone; it has the most light and the most sea life. It is the smallest zone in terms of volume of water! Challenge students to discover all they can about some of the animals that live in the ocean/sunlight zone, like Orca the killer whale, sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, tuna and other large fish, as well as small fish like cod, etc.
    2. Have students also find accurate pictures of their favorite ocean sea animal and write down some key facts. Some facts might include but should not be limited to…What color are they? What is their size? What do they eat? Are they a predator or are they the prey? Or are they both? etc.
    3. When students have collected some facts, or enough information, they will begin illustrating their personal favorite predator or prey.
    4. Students can begin the illustration process with light pencil outlines on Crayola® large white drawing paper or Crayola heavy color paper.
    5. Crayola Twistable Slick Stix is an excellent media for this activity. They are rich, creamy vibrant colors and age appropriate for these predator/prey illustrations. Stain Advisement: Slick Stix contain pigments that may stain clothing, fabrics and other household surfaces. Wear a smock to protect clothing and cover your work surface with newspaper.
    6. When the students have completed their predator or prey illustrations, have them rewrite the key facts, in pencil, on a sheet of lined paper and glue on the back of the illustrations, along with their name.
    7. As a culminating activity, students can hold up their illustrations and without speaking move about the room looking for their prey. Once they have found it, the student pair will stand together.
    8. Still standing together, the final closure for this art + science lesson is when the students read the back of their illustration, while their classmates look and listen.
    9. A student who illustrated a shark might be standing next to a student who illustrated a tuna: A student might have written: I am a PREDATOR. I am a Shark. I am at the top of the food chain in the open ocean. I eat many things like dolphins, sea lions and large fish like Tuna. -or- And the prey may have written: I am a Tuna. I am a large fish. I am PREY for the Shark. But…I am also a PREDATOR, I eat little fish like Cod
    10. The activity is complete when all the students have shared all of the illustrations and their facts.
  • Standards

    LA: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

    LA: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

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

    SCI: Distinguish between scientific fact and opinion.

    SCI: Identify and describe the similarities and differences of living things and their life.

    VA: Create personally satisfying artwork using a variety of artistic processes and materials.

    VA: Demonstrate an understanding of the safe and proficient use of materials, tools, and equipment for a variety of artistic processes.

  • Adaptations

    A large bulletin board display or wall of the predator /prey illustrations with written facts is a great academic curricular connected activity….the arts can make connections for many areas of the school’s curriculum, is a great Big Idea.

    Having access to a digital camera and taking pictures of this activity to place in a slide show or PowerPoint, class blog or teacher website can be displayed at back to school night, celebration of the arts night, National Ocean week, etc. and any place where you can share your students works.

    Crayola has many products and variety of media that can adapt to this activity. Students could use any 3-D material, to create their predator or prey.

    Longer class time might yield students working in pairs to create dioramas, depicting the sunlight zone and a more involved fact based scenarios.

    Teachers might wish to provide a word wall of choices to gently guide some students to stay focused.


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