Posing Pets

Posing Pets lesson plan

Do cats curl up with tails around their nose? Or dogs fling a paw across their faces? Create pets in delightful poses that they’ll hold forever---in paper mache!

  • 1.

    Did you ever notice the interesting positions pets take? Watch cats while they bathe themselves. Their positions are both interesting and graceful. Dogs also take expressive stances. They cock their heads to listen to you. Or stand at attention when they listen to a sound that you can’t hear.

  • 2.

    Watch a favorite pet until it puts its body into a position that you find interesting. Sketch that position so you’ll remember it later. How is the head tilted? Where are all four legs or its fins? What are its tail and ears doing?

  • 3.

    To begin your sculpture’s base, crumple recycled newspaper into firm balls. Use masking tape to attach them together. Form newspaper into your pet’s limbs. If you need more structure, use rolled newspaper tubes to create long limbs. Place them in the correct positions.

  • 4.

    Cover your art area with newspaper. Mix equal amounts of Crayola® School Glue and water in a plastic bowl. Tear newspaper into small strips, then dip the newspaper into the glue mixture. Wipe away any excess glue, then smooth the wet strip onto your newspaper animal. Cover the animal completely, then add another layer, overlapping the strips as you apply them. Dry overnight after every two or three layers.

  • 5.

    For your last layer, tear white paper towels into small strips, then apply them as you did the newspaper. Dry. Paper mache dries more quickly in a warm room or with moving air. Drying may take one or more days.

  • 6.

    Paint your pet with Crayola Washable Kid's Paint and Paint Brushes. Dry. If your pet is multicolored, dry before painting other colors.


  • Children observe living animals and the movements they make.
  • Children exaggerate the positions taken by animals in their daily activities.
  • Children sculpt a paper mache animal in an interesting position.


  • Students with special needs may prefer to work from photographs of their pets.
  • Create 3-D paper-mache sculptures of human beings after studying human anatomy and sketching friends.
  • Study the artwork of animal artists such as Deborah Butterfield and Edward Remington. Create sculptures in their styles.