Abstract Animals

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Capture animals in abstract drawings, finding the geometric shapes that make up animal faces and bodies.


  1. 1. Look at several photographs of animals. Compare and contrast their forms by visually breaking the images into simple geometric shapes. To do this, place a piece of tracing paper over a large, side view of an animal such a horse or an elephant.
  2. 2. With a Crayola® Fine-Line Marker, draw the simple geometric shapes that comprise the animal. An elephant's head and abdomen would be circles, with a long oval for a trunk, and rectangles for legs. Try several different animals.
  3. 3. Tear the edges of construction paper so it looks like a deckle edge.
  4. 4. With markers on construction paper, draw the simple geometric forms that you traced. Combine several simple forms to complete a more complex drawing.
  5. 5. Use Crayola Colored Drawing Chalk to fill in the animal and background. Keep your drawing simple and strong.
  6. 6. Exhibit the works. Ask viewers to identify which animals are portrayed.


Draw several different views of the same animal. Compare views to see if the shapes you observe are similar each time.

Use this method to draw human forms.

Compare very different animal forms (turtle/whale, snake/giraffe). Analyze shapes used in each drawing.


Children visually perceive common shapes and proportions in animal forms.

Children outline animals using the simple forms they recognize, then fill the outline and backgrounds with chalk.

Children exchange their creations and identify each other's animals.


Pre-K and Kindergarten
Grades 1 to 3
Grades 4 to 6


Visual Arts


Less than 1/2 hour
30 to 60 minutes
Multiple Sessions

curriculum standards links

US: Research U.S. Standards
UK: Research UK Standards
Canada: Research Canada Standards

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