What Are You Doing Here?

Science/Art/Language Arts

Children will draw scenes of different environments and create some unexpected visitors in those environments.

What You Need

What to Do

  1. Discuss with children some different types of environments and climates on Earth, such as a desert, mountain, or rain forest. On the board or on paper, create word webs with the name of each environment in the center, surrounded by words that describe it and animals that live there.
  2. Next, tell children that they are going to choose an environment and draw a picture of it. As children are drawing, explain that when they are done they are going to cut a slot in their picture for an unexpected visitor. Some children may want to use a ruler to draw a line marking where the slot is to be cut. The slot should be about four inches long. (You may need to help children choose a good spot for the slot and/or do the actual cutting.)
  3. When children are finished, have each of them choose a partner and exchange pictures. Encourage children to take some time to think about the environment of the animal in the pictre they have received. Ask them to think of animals that do not belong in that environment. (They can refer to the word webs created earlier.) Then have each of them make a stick puppet of an animal that will be an unexpected visitor to that environment. As they are making the stick puppets, have each child think of a story about how their animal got to that environment. Help them develop their stories by suggesting that to think about how the animal would feel in that environment. Does the animal like the new environment? Why? Why not? Does it miss its usual surroundings? How are the environments different?
  4. When children are ready, have them slip their stick puppets into their partners' pictures. Children can use the stick puppets to role-play what it is like in the environment in the picture, and to share the stories they created. Partners can take turns getting things started by asking each other, “What are you doing here?”

Teaching Options