X-Ray Eyes

X-Ray Eyes lesson plan

What’s inside a lizard? Or a cat, bird, or even yourself? Imagine you have X-ray eyes. Show bright bones and opaque organs with Crayola® Color Switchers™ Markers.

  • 1.

    X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist. He found that these rays could pass through many materials that absorb visible light, allowing us to see inside solid objects. For the first time, people could look at the inner workings of the human body, as well as other creatures’ bodies.

  • 2.

    Aboriginal Australian people created many beautiful bark "X-ray" paintings of the inner parts of animals, using what they knew about the animal as inspiration. Study these paintings for ideas.

  • 3.

    To use your X-ray Eyes, choose a favorite animal. Use Crayola Color Switchers Markers to outline your creature on white paper.

  • 4.

    Flip the Marker and apply the special color switcher to draw what's inside. Use what you know about your animal’s anatomy and habits to help you. For instance, what does your animal eat? Does it live in water or on land? Imagine what the inner workings of the animal look like. You know that human beings have many organs that they need to survive, such as a heart, lungs, stomach, and liver. Does your animal have these parts too? Does your animal have some parts that people don’t have? Place the organs in and around each other in the animal’s body.

  • 5.

    When you are finished, research the animal’s anatomy to see how accurately you drew its innards!


  • Children observe Australian X-ray paintings for information and to understand the art techniques used.
  • Children imagine and draw the inner organs of an animal.
  • Children research the anatomy of the animal to analyze the accuracy of their drawings.


  • Study human physiology. Draw the organ or system you are studying, complete with Color Switchers details.
  • Create a science fair project showing differences between the internal anatomy of animals that live in water and those that live on land, for example.
  • Draw dinosaurs, dragons, or other imaginary animals, showing their anatomy. What information do you need to help you?