Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Zentangle Habitat Art - 2nd Grade

This art project was developed as a group project with the 2nd grade teachers to create a truly integrated art project that encompasses both the study of science and language arts. 

To provide a bit of background, I went to a Zentangle workshop last spring and had wanted to do some type of pattern art project with the 2nd grade.  Mrs. Marx  had also visited Alaska last summer and purchased a coloring book featuring spirit animal artwork created by Sue Coccia at  She said this coloring book reminded her of Zentangle and she thought it might provide some inspiration.  The other teachers loved the idea and so with the inspiration of Sue Coccia and Zentangle, we created this unique project.

As a combined Science/Writing/Art project, each 2nd grade class selected their own animal, and then we drew elements of the habitat within the basic shape of the animal.  After we had drawn the little illustrations of the habitat, we filled the background of the animal with basic pattern art and "tangles" that might be part of the animals habitat. Each class also wrote about the animal and it's habitat. 

We think you will enjoy looking at some of these great line drawings.  All of these illustrations were created by 2nd grade students!  

Ms. McCoy's Class studied the wolf and the mountain/forest habitat.

 Mrs. Brockman's class drew these darling raccoons as they studied the brown bear and the forest habitat.

 Mr. Christensen's class studied the arctic fox and the tundra habitat.

 Mrs. Wall's class studied the tortoise and the desert habitat.

 Every child started with the same basic form and then added their own illustrations and patterns within the outside shape of the animal.

 We asked simple questions to help the children explore the habitat and we worked together as a class to create the basic illustrations and patterns.

 Mrs. Gordon's class studied the porpoise and the ocean habitat. 

Mrs. Slaugh's class studied the lion and the savannah habitat.  All the students had the opportunity to color their picture with colored pencils after they finished their design.  We kept a black and white original and made each student a copy of their original artwork to color.   

 Mrs. Embleton's class studied the boa constrictor and the rainforest.

 Mrs. Marx's class studied the Eagle and the Moutain/Forest habitat.  This particular picture was expressly inspired by the work of Sue Coccia and
This project was posted with her permission and we hope that you will visit her website and support her work by purchasing a coloring book, some cards, or some of her original artwork. It is fabulous!

Ms. Baier's class studied the frog and the pond/wetland habitat.

I am working on writing up all the details of this lesson plan and will publish it on the UEN website as I finish it.  This project was fun for 2nd grade, but it was difficult, and I think it would be amazing and probably even more effective in older grades...even up to adult.  Everyone who has participated in this project has loved it and we appreciate all the positive comments and support.

Sue Coccia sent us the following quote:

"If you will talk to the animals they will talk to you and you will know each other.  If you do not talk to them, you will not know them.  And what you do not know you will fear.  What one fears one destroys"
Chief Dan George