So, like most art teachers, I ended up with 1-2 classes for a number of my sections, and there isn’t very much you can do with that. Instead of just allowing for a free choice day (which would be mass chaos this time of year), I looked to my pinterest board, and found this pin from the blog Art for Small Hands.
It. Has. Been. A. Life. Saver. and a super popular activity for my first, second, and third graders this time of year.
I took the premise of Julie’s lesson (which has a great outline and many helpful tips for the whole lesson) and mashed it with the Exquisite Corpse game that the Surrealists played, and turned it into a collaborative drawing activity. Students started their animal with a head and neck, and then moved to the next chair at their table, to add a body to their table-mates drawing. Then they moved to the next chair to add a tail, and then legs. If there were 5 students at a table I had them break the legs into front and back. If there were 3 students at a table I had them draw the body and the tail together. For the younger grades it did take them about 1 round to understand the process, but after that first round, they were able to manage the moving around on their own.
I decided to have them get up and move seats, because I know moving around a bit is better for children who are so hyped up that it’s almost the end of the year (or really for any time of year). You could always just have them trade papers to save a bit of time.
When everyone was back at the paper they started, they traced the pencil line in sharpie and added background details and color. I also showed my students how to take the names of all of the animals and create a new name by selecting parts of the name. I think this was the part they liked the best!
To take this one step further during the second class while students were finishing, I had them record a bit about their animal via Audioboo. I shared this with my sister and boyfriend Thursday night, and we had the best time listening to their cute little voices, and noticing the details they added. I’m sure the parents at my school will treasure these little recordings for a long time.
If you want to kill some time, here is a link to all of the Zany Zoo drawings that have been posted to Audioboo, OR Below are some of my favorites, but really it was so hard to choose!