Paper Mache Zoo

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

In this visual arts lesson, students will create zoo animals (or any animals) using paper mache. The ‘zoo’ can be displayed in the classroom or in a localized area of the school.

Grade Level: 5 - 12th

Subject: Arts

Length of Time: Varies Depending on Grade Level and Depth of Project

Objectives & Outcomes

Learners will be able to demonstrate planning skills in creating a zoo animal as well as create a visual art piece appropriate for the project.

Materials Needed

  • masking tape
  • newspaper (strips and sheets)
  • paper mache (1 cup flour to 1 cup of water) to create a glue like consistency
  • paint brushes
  • paint (simple tempera paints will work)


Opening to Lesson

Begin by telling students they are going to bring the zoo to school in a fun and creative way. Tell students to choose an animal from the zoo that they would like to ‘create’.

Body of Lesson

  • Have students create a form for their animal using balled up newspaper, tape, and cardboard if available.
  • Make sure the form is complete and stable before adding any paper mache.
  • Dip strips of newspaper into the paper mache (glue) and add strips to the form to offer bulk to the new creature.
  • Continue until the surface is smooth and the form looks like the desired animal. This step may take several days.
  • Allow strips to dry completely before painting.


Have students paint their animals in appropriate colors and patterns. Display animals in a make shift zoo in the school.

*If the school has an art auction fund raiser these are great projects*

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Assessment & Evaluation

Students will be assessed both on participation and final project (appropriateness, creativity, etc.)

Modification & Differentiation

Students with certain disabilities may need extended time or to create smaller projects.

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