Developed By: Lisa Heap, MA, ATR-BC
Goals: Group cohesiveness, self-esteem, social skills, and problem-solving skills
Materials: White modeling clay, markers, colored pencils, crayons, construction paper, and a large sheet of mural paper.
Safety Concerns: None
Age / Grade: 3rd through 5th grade
Procedure/ Direction: An animal is suggested by the art facilitator and the students are asked to say the first thing that comes to mind. Frequently, words that are suggested are descriptors of the animal’s appearance, interests and personality traits. For example, when the word “dolphin” is suggested, the group might think of words like water, peaceful, protective, playful, happy, and fast. Other animals are discussed in much the same way. The group is then asked to create an animal out of white modeling clay that best describes who each of them are as a unique person. These animals can be real or imaginary, but each child must be able to describe how they best relate to their own life, interests, or personality. Upon completion of the three-dimensional animals, the group is asked to create a mural in which all these animals can peacefully live together and have their basic needs met.
Evaluation/ Group Processing: Once an environment is created, the group is then asked to name the new place they have produced. A group discussion follows, with topics including the process of working together as a group; problems that may have arisen; and whether anyone felt left out of the process of creating the animal mural.