Educational Programs

The Animals Inside

Monarch by artist Kevin Stanton
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The Brooches Blessing by Emily
Mixed Media
Age Appropriate
Project Time
Grades 4-12
5- 7 hours
Pre-teaching: YES

If I could be any creature, what would I be?  I’ve often pondered this question along my journey of life and have concluded numerous mammals and birds during different stages. 

At this point in my life….I have red eyes, can sing with the best of them and I make my home near the water’s edge.  What animal am I?  Hint: I could be a four legged, winged or insect.  ANSWER: Loon. Students will imagine they’re a different animal species.  What animal would they be and WHY?  This is where their research plays an important role in the completion of their art project…actually, it's the prelude for the main event.


Utilizing a mixed media approach, students will be able to combine symbols of their heritage and techniques of paper cutting with materials such as oil pastels, acrylics, colored pencils and watercolor to create an “animal portrait” that represents them. 

Unit Goals

Students will be able to communicate their ancestral background and draw three images symbolic of their heritage
Students will understand the art of Scherenschnitte and its significance to the Pennsylvania Germans
Students will be introduced to historic examples of paper cutting as well as artists, illustrators and animators and be able to explain its origin
Students will be able to define Hue, Aesthetics, Contour Lines & Mixed Medium
Students will be able to complete a blind contour drawing within 2 minutes
Students will be able to compose a personal design that incorporates symbols of their heritage, mixed media and paper cutting
Students will be able to write a story about the animal that best represents them and why.
Students will be able to present their story to their peers


They will demonstrate their understanding by creating a well composed picture of an animal that has similar characteristics/ personal traits of themselves using multiple media, such as watercolors, oil pastels and colored pencil, layering paper cutting on top or cutting out a section where they will place their paper-cutting.  Symbols of their heritage will need to be included in some form.  Students will present their artwork.

To receive a packet of information or schedule your fine art program with Monte and Emily Yellow Bird, please email Emily at