Students at Brooklyn Prospect in New York

LEARNING: Students look at different defense mechanisms animals have developed to protect themselves, specifically focusing on rainforest creatures.

CREATING: Student artists brainstorm the ideal creature to live in the rainforest, then create marionette puppets of their creatures; using cardboard tubes as their base and coating the surface with layered tissue paper.

CONNECTING: This project is thematically aligned with the topic ‘Animal Defence Mechanisms’. Specifically, it builds on the learning students are doing around different animal defence mechanisms and asks them to demonstrate their knowledge through their design of a fictional animal.


Lesson 1: SW learn about animal defenses,then brainstorm fictional animals that are ideally suited to live in the rainforest.

Lesson 2: SW learn about animals who move (e.g., run), fight, or alter their body in order to defend themselves, then create the body and head of their puppet.

Lesson 3: SW learn about animals who use color and texture to defend themselves, then will begin adding layers of tissue paper to their puppet.

Lesson 4: SW have a second day to add tissue paper to their puppet, with a focus on texture.

Lesson 5: SW put together their marionette puppet.


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Difficulty: 4th & 5th grade

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