Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students observe and draw animals in the school yard. They begin by participating in a game that helps them to identify the key features of a range of animals. They then head outside to find and observe animals in the yard, recording the key physical features and behaviours of the animals they see. Student then go back inside to create a cartoon drawing based on the animal they observed.

Faber-Castell has long understood the importance of creativity to all people, especially to young people. It is also continuously searching for environmentally friendly processes and high-quality materials to enhance children’s creative experience throughout every development phase. For more information about Faber-Castell, click here.


Learning intentions:

  • Students understand that animals are an important part of our environment, and are important to people.
  • Students understand how to apply art principles and techniques to their cartoon.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 3 & 4 Visual Arts

  • Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111)
  • Present artworks and describe how they have used visual conventions to represent their ideas (ACAVAM112)

Year 3 Science

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)

Year 4 Science

  • Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)

Syllabus outcomes: VAS2.1, VAS2.2, ST2-10LW, ST2-11LW.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 3 & 4 Visual Arts achievement standards: Students discuss how they and others organise the elements and processes in artworks. They plan and make artworks that communicate ideas.

Relevant parts of Year 3 Science achievement standards: Students group living things based on observable features and distinguish them from non-living things. 

Relevant parts of Year 4 Science achievement standards: Students describe relationships that assist the survival of living things.

Topic: Sustainability.

Unit of work: Creative Sustainability – Year 3 & 4.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate discussions, lead students in game and outdoor observation, oversee cartoon creation.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Sticky tape or masking tape. Drawing paper. Graphite pencils. Coloured pencils or marker pens. Animal NamesColouring Techniques Handout. Optional – Cartoon Planning Questions. Optional – Cartoon Ant Outline.

Keywords: Animals, observation, school yard, cartoon.

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 understand that animals are an important part of our environment, and are important to people.
  • Students understand how to apply art principles and techniques to their cartoon.

Success criteria:

  • Students observe and record the behaviours and features of animals.
  • Students plan and create a cartoon.
  • Students apply art principles and techniques to their cartoon.

Teacher content information: Sustainability describes the ability to keep going at the same rate and in the same (or better) condition as before. In order for our world to be able to sustain us, as well as the generations to come, we need to change. It’s time to think differently – and more creatively – about sustainability and the future of our planet.

Creativity and approaching challenges in a creative way has traditionally been seen as a natural gift, but in fact it can be grown just like a muscle. Creativity is like any other skill. It can be learned and

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What other animals would you like to draw?

Reflection questions

Work independently to answer the following questions:

1. What was the most interesting thing about this lesson?
2. What did I like best about creating my cartoon and why?
3. If I were going to create my cartoon again, what would I do differently?


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