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Lesson 4: Observational Drawings of Animals and Insects


We will use Ebony pencils to draw an animal or insect from observation. Students will be able to draw animals and insects from close observation, looking for shapes that can be combined to make larger forms.

Grade Level



Printmaking, Drawing, Collage, Mural

  • Unit & Lessons
  • Teaching Tools


  • Ebony pencils
  • Paper
  • Resource: photographs of animals and insects


Step 1

Look at photographs of animals and insects. With students, break down the different shapes that make up the body, head, legs, etc. Identify details and textures.

Step 2

Demonstrate drawing an animal or insect from observation, starting with large shapes and using lines to add details and textures.

Step 3

Have students draw their animals or insects, starting with large shapes, adding details (fur, spots, eyes, ears) and different lines to show texture (rough, smooth, furry, etc.).


Students will look at photographs of real animals and insects and discuss what is unique about each one.

Writing Prompt (Optional):

In their sketchbooks, students will label the parts of their imaginary animals.

Sketchbook Prompt (Optional):

Students will use their sketchbooks to create imaginary animals by mixing parts of different animals and insects together.


Observation, texture, detail, imaginary, body, head, feet, eyes, ears, claws, wings, fins, thorax, antenna, horn, fur


Photos of animals