Above & Below the Pond

Above & Below the Pond lesson plan

Pond life is fascinating! Create a realistic scene that's teeming with plant and animal life.

  • 1.

    Search for information and pictures about life in and around a pond. Visit local ponds to sketch life you see in the water and nearby. Identify all plant and animal life. Find out what happens to pond life during harsh weather conditions such as droughts and prolonged freezes.

  • 2.

    Use the information you collected to paint a realistic pond scene, above and below the water. This pond might be one in your area, or an imaginary pond in a different climate. Choose a specific season to accurately represent. With a Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencil, divide a large piece of construction paper in half lengthwise.

  • 3.

    Below the Pond: Cover your art area with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Washable Watercolors and Watercolor Brushes to create an underwater scene on the lower half of your paper. Will the scene be murky with polluting particles, or fresh and clear? You are painting a watery scene, so you might wish to make the paper wet before you start. Paint the water with a wash of color. Dry.

  • 4.

    Paint items that you would find under the water such as crayfish, turtles, snakes, wood, rocks, fish, amphibians, insects, and plants. Dry.

  • 5.

    Above the Pond: Use colored pencils to create a background scene of life above the water. Include birds, animals, trees, sky, flowers, insects, frogs, lily pads, and perhaps a tree stump sticking out of the water.

  • 6.

    If you wish, label each item in your pond scene. Mount your picture on construction paper with a Crayola Glue Stick. Use colors that accentuate the sky and water.


  • Students discover the names of various plants, animals, and insects that are found in a pond environment, both above and below the water.
  • Students research how the plants, animals, and insects that live in a pond adapt to its changing conditions such as dry summers and icy winters.
  • Students depict plant and animal life above and below a pond's surface.


  • Create a similar above and below scene of an ocean, river, salty lake, or an ice shelf in Antarctica.
  • Design a life-size bulletin board display about a local pond to portray class research findings. All students contribute to its creation.
  • Construct a realistic pond setting with Crayola Model Magic. Display plants and animals in their natural habitats.