The Animal in Me—Social Studies Exploration

Submitted by admin on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 15:19

The Animal in Me—Social Studies Exploration

March 2, 2020
The Animal In Me Arts Integration Lesson Plan - Sun Valley Museum of Art

Students will make a personal connection to an aspect of Native American culture, totem poles, and totem animals by researching how native cultures incorporate animals into their art and culture in a variety of ways and creating an individual mask representing personal character traits. Students will then choose an animal based on strengths they identify within themselves.


  • Students will identify an animal that they identify with based on their personal character traits
  • Students will use texture, color, shape, and form in their animal mask
  • Students will reference Native American use of symbolism, color, and shape in creating their mask
  • Students will write and present a brief monologue to build confidence through public presentation

Basic Lesson Outline:

  • Project introduction (slide show)
  • Students will identify character traits and an animal
  • Students will be shown examples of how to create form in their masks
  • Students will work on their mask
  • Students will work to complete their masks; if time allows, they will work on their monologues
  • Project conclusion and presentation

Art Supplies:

  • Plastic mask forms
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Tacky glue
  • Paint brushes
  • Photographs of animals (calendars are a great resource)

Other Resources:

  • Examples of mask-making techniques
  • Slide show to introduce project and related artwork (see outline at the end of the lesson plan)

The Animal In Me Art Integration Lesson Plan - Sun Valley Museum of Art

Idaho State Learning Standards:

Arts and Humanities: Anchor Standard 4: Convey meaning through the presentation/performance/production of an original work or unique interpretation of a work

  • Objective PR1.1 Combine knowledge and understanding from two or more disciplines to present/perform their original or interpreted works for an audience
  • Objective PR1.2 Convey meaning through their presentation/performance

6-9.GWH.5.1.1 Discuss how social institutions, including family, religion, and education, influence behavior in different societies in the Western Hemisphere


Academic Language:

  • Subject area language: totem pole, Native American, spirit animal, ritual, and representation
  • Art language: form, color, texture, shape, line, symbolism, balance, line, adaptation, and innovation

Student Use of Vocabulary:

Students will use the words when creating their projects, when writing about their projects, and creating and presenting their monologues

Student Grouping:

Students will work independently

Funding for this lesson plan was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-10-19-0563-19].
Additional funding provided by Wendy and Alan Pesky.


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