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Collaborative Mural: Animals in Habitats


Students will work collaboratively to create large-scale habitat murals. They will: draw, make collages of animals, add color to a large background, and collage plants and other features to create a habitat. The border will be made of vocabulary words that describe this habitat —animal and plant names, climate, etc.​

This unit connects to studies of the different habitats of the earth. ​Each class can choose a habitat (desert, ocean, rainforest, savanna, Arctic) to research, write about, ​and discuss. 

Grade Level



Drawing, Collage, Painting

  • Teaching Guide
  • Teaching Tools


Materials and Tools

  • Ebony drawing pencils
  • White drawing paper – 9 x 12”
  • Construction or fadeless paper – 9 x 12” or 12 x 18”
  • Black paper – 9 x 12”
  • Large paper for mural background
  • Tempera paint
  • 1” and ½” paint brushes
  • Water containers
  • Sponges
  • Combs and tools to create texture
  • Scissors 
  • Glue 
  • Oil pastels


Photos of habitats

Photos of animals

Photos of plants

Henri Rousseau,The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope, 1905, oil on canvas
Paintings from John James Audubon, The Birds of America, 1827-28


Zoo-Ology by Joelle Jolivet


Collaborative Mural: Animals in Habitats

Written by Vicki Behm, Artist Instructor

Studio in a School NYC Team
Andrea Burgay, Associate Director
Julie Applebaum, Senior Director
Hasna Muhammad, Ed.D., Chair, Board of Directors, Studio in a School Association
Alison Scott-Williams, President, Studio in a School NYC

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