Compound Species


Create new animals with combined parts for a "menagerarium" display of biodiversity.


1. Use Crayola® Scissors to cut pictures of animals, fish, birds, and insects from recycled magazines. Sort pictures on the classroom floor into categories: land, sea, and air creatures. Identify special parts of animals in each category. Choose two animals to combine into a new creature.

2. With one color of Crayola Model Magic, create the body of an animal. Then use another color of Model Magic to make animal parts from a different creature. Mix up the parts of the two animals to make an entirely new Compound Species. The more exaggerated the body part, the more dramatic the final product will be.

3. Glue feathers, buttons, or other decorative materials to the creature with Crayola School Glue. Let the animal air dry for about 24 hours.

4. With Crayola Watercolors and Paint Brushes, or Crayola Washable Markers, to add designs and patterns to, the Compound Species. Give each an imaginary name. Display in a "menagerarium" for others to visit.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.


  • Identify the animals that were the basis for each other's creations. Write imaginative stories about each other's animals.
  • Focus on animals living in one geographic area, such as the Arctic, Caribbean, rain forest, or farm.
  • Expand this idea into a study of mythological creatures and folk art animals, such as those in Egypt or Native American traditions.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Markers
  • Washable Watercolors
  • Watercolor Brushes with Plastic Handle
  • Model Magic®
  • No-Run School Glue
household supplies
  • decorative craft items



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children gather pictures of animals, fish, birds, and insects, and sort them by category: land, sea, and air creatures.

  • Children choose two of these categories and imaginatively combine part of animals (such as horns, tentacles, fins, floppy ears, claws, wings) from each to create an imaginary Compound Species.

  • Children increase their appreciation for biodiversity as they explore animal forms and their purposes as they select creative names and build a "menagerarium."


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards