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Third-grade students embody the spirit of animals after creating wearable sculptures of animal adaptations. Children begin by learning to carefully observe animals up close—actual specimens from the Natural History Museum—and to draw details of fur, scales, beaks, talons, claws, and more. Students draw, take notes, and sculpt animal adaptations in papier-mâché. Small features are blown to larger-than-life size, so that students can experience the drama of wearing their own sculpture like a costume. The children decide how it should be worn on the body, whether arm cuff, glove, chest plate, mask, or tail worn around the waist. Wearing their painted, colorful wearable sculptures, students can feel what it’s like to be a parrot, pelican, fox, leopard, owl, peacock, or poison dart frog.


CCSS English Language Arts
W 3.1, W 3.2, SL 3.1, SL 3.3, SL 3.4, SL 3.6, L 3.1, L 3.2, L 3.3, L 3.4, L 3.5

NGSS Science

CA Arts Standards
3.VA:Cr1.1, 4.VA:Cr1.1, 3.VA:Cr1.2, 3.VA:Cr2.1, 4.VA:Cr2.1, 3.VA:Cr2.2, 4.VA:Cr2.2, 3.VA:Cr3, 3.VA:Pr5, 3.VA:Re7.1, 4.VA:Re7.1, 3.VA:Re7.2

Grade Level