Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This is a STEAM lesson, which adds the Arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). To find out more about STEAM and STEM click here. In this lesson, students will connect learning in the areas of Science and Art. Initially exploring the features of Australian animals, they will develop their oral language and vocabulary skills while strengthening their understanding of animal features. Students then create a picture of their animal using foam shapes, exploring Visual Art knowledge and skills and developing vital visual-spatial reasoning skills in the process.

This lesson has been created in partnership with education specialists, OfficeMax and Winc.


Learning intentions:

  • Students identify and explain the external features of familiar living things.
  • Students create artworks using a range of processes and techniques.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Foundation Science

  • Living things have basic needs, including food and water (ACSSU002)

Year 1 Science

  • Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017)

Year 2 Science

  • Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU030)

Years F – 2 Visual Arts

  • Explore ideas, experiences, observations and imagination to create visual artworks and design, including considering ideas in artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists (ACAVAM106)
  • Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks (ACAVAM107)
  • Create and display artworks to communicate ideas to an audience (ACAVAM108)
  • Respond to visual artworks and consider where and why people make visual artworks, starting with visual artworks from Australia, including visual artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAVAR109)

Syllabus outcomes: STe-8NE, ST1-10LWVAS1.1,VAS1.2,VAS1.3.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Relevant parts of Foundation Science Achievement Standards: Students suggest how the environment affects them and other living things.

Relevant parts of Year 1 Science Achievement Standards: Students describe changes in their local environment and how different places meet the needs of living things.

Relevant parts of Year 2 Science Achievement Standards: Students describe changes to objects, materials and living things.

Relevant parts of F – 2 Visual Arts Achievement Standards: Students describe artworks they make and those to which they respond. They consider where and why people make artworks. They use the elements and processes of arts subjects to make and share artworks that represent ideas.

Topic: Art & Craft

Unit of work: Learning Through Art & Craft – Primary.

Time required: 60+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – Information and task expectations are explicitly modelled and demonstrated prior to students completing the independent task.

Resources required: Device capable of displaying video. Either Foam Animals Worksheet Option 1 (A4, 1 per student), Foam Animals Worksheet Option 2 (A4, 1 per student) or Foam Animals Worksheet Option 3 (A3, 1 per student). Foam shapes. Glue sticks (one per student). Sheet of paper, pencil and eraser (one per group of three). Poster paper. Making a Geometric Animal Step-by-Step (equipment to project to the whole class).

Related Professional Development: STEAM Made Simple

Keywords: Living things, plants, animals, native, grow, change, shapes, colours, art, picture, art, craft, biodiversity.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: 

  • Students identify and explain the external features of familiar living things.
  • Students create artworks using a range of processes and techniques.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … name the key external features of an animal.
  • … explain the purpose of key external features.
  • … use shapes to create a picture of an animal.


Teacher content information:

Art & Craft

Art & Craft lessons provide students with the unique opportunity to combine very open creative techniques to their learning. As a less 'high stakes' version of the Visual Arts, in Art & Craft lessons, students are freer to play as they create their works. This more relaxed, open creative process often leads to a greater level of comfort for students to take risks in their art making. Art and Craft lessons make failure in art-making less daunting and innovation highly achievable. 

Visual-Spatial Ability

Visual-spatial skills are drawn on every day of our lives.

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