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Proud to Be Pig

Pigs are big in children’s literature! Choose a favorite porker, maybe from Charlotte’s Web, and make a colorful paper maché model.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Conduct a read aloud with Charlotte's Web by E. B. White or another book in which pigs are the main characters. Invite students to research information about these animals. Ask students, organized in small groups, to compare and contrast actual information about pigs and how pigs are often portrayed in literature. Come together as a class to share findings.
    2. Students cover their work areas with recycled newspaper. Tear additional newspaper into short, thin strips. Mix two parts of Crayola® School Glue with one part water to create a thin mixture for paper maché.
    3. Ask students to crumple up recycled newspaper into a ball. Dip strips of newspaper into the glue mixture. Apply damp strips to the ball, overlapping them as you go. Cover the ball with at least two layers of newspaper. Dry completely, which may take several days, depending upon temperature and humidity.
    4. Glue additional body parts to the ball, such as a snout, legs, and tail. Use corks, recycled plastic bottle lids, or recycled film canisters for the snout and legs. Cover them with more paper maché if you wish. A curled chenille stem works well as a tail. Push it slightly into the firm paper, then apply glue to the entry point. Cut ears from felt, construction paper, or scraps of fabric. To stiffen fabric, apply a coating of the glue and water mixture used for the paper maché. Dry.
    5. Students paint their pigs with Crayola Tempera Paints. Allow time to dry.
    6. Students finish their pig sculptures by making eyes with Crayola Markers or gluing on small black buttons.
    7. Provide time in the school day for students to share their sculptures with classmates. Encourage students to include in their talks what new learning about pigs they included in their artwork.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

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

    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: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the types of habitats in which organisms live, and ask questions based on that information.

    SCI: Use data about the characteristics of organisms and habitats to design an artificial habitat in which the organisms can 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: Charlotte's Web by E. B. Web; Pigs by Robert Munsch; Perfect the Pig by Susan Jescke; The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszka & Lane Smith

    Students work in teams of two to create a barn yard family of animals that would be found on a farm. Students also create use paper mache or Crayola Model Magic to create other farm animals. Research each of the animals in the scene, collecting information about the size of each animal, its typical adult weight, what it eats, as well as what its purpose is on a farm. Recycled materials can be used to create as much of the scene as possible.

    Students collaborate to compose a poem about farm animals and how they live together on the farm. Post original poems in the classroom. Students may sketch a scene to accompany the poem if so desired.

    Organize a class trip to a local farm. Ask the manager of the farm to allow students to pet the animals, deciding how the animals' skin or hair feels, how the animals smell, what activities do during the day. Upon returning to the classroom, students post learning to a class blog.


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