Compound Species

Compound Species lesson plan

Create new animals with combined parts for a "menagerarium" display of biodiversity.

  • 1.

    Use Crayola® Scissors to cut pictures of animals, fish, birds, and insects from recycled magazines. Sort pictures on the classroom floor into categories: land, sea, and air creatures. Identify special parts of animals in each category. Choose two animals to combine into a new creature.

  • 2.

    With one color of Crayola Model Magic, create the body of an animal. Then use another color of Model Magic to make animal parts from a different creature. Mix up the parts of the two animals to make an entirely new Compound Species. The more exaggerated the body part, the more dramatic the final product will be.

  • 3.

    Glue feathers, buttons, or other decorative materials to the creature with Crayola School Glue. Let the animal air dry for about 24 hours.

  • 4.

    With Crayola Watercolors and Paint Brushes, or Crayola Washable Markers, to add designs and patterns to, the Compound Species. Give each an imaginary name. Display in a "menagerarium" for others to visit.


  • Children gather pictures of animals, fish, birds, and insects, and sort them by category: land, sea, and air creatures.
  • Children choose two of these categories and imaginatively combine part of animals (such as horns, tentacles, fins, floppy ears, claws, wings) from each to create an imaginary Compound Species.
  • Children increase their appreciation for biodiversity as they explore animal forms and their purposes as they select creative names and build a "menagerarium."


  • Identify the animals that were the basis for each other's creations. Write imaginative stories about each other's animals.
  • Focus on animals living in one geographic area, such as the Arctic, Caribbean, rain forest, or farm.
  • Expand this idea into a study of mythological creatures and folk art animals, such as those in Egypt or Native American traditions.