Create Your Own Animal Masks

This lesson plan is designed to help teachers present animal rights issues to their students. If you’re an educator, please feel free to adapt this material to fit your needs, and contact us if you need help incorporating this activity into your curriculum.

Suggested grade levels: Kindergarten–5th grade

Objectives: To have students use their imagination to create artwork; to demonstrate motor skills by coloring, cutting, and assembling an animal mask; and to show how wearing a mask can help one relate to someone else—in this case, animals

Looking for a fun way to tie arts and crafts into a lesson on the importance of relating to animals? Well, we’ve got one! Your students will enjoy expressing themselves through art while they learn interesting facts about animals and form a deeper understanding of the many qualities that we share with them.

If you teach kindergarten through third grade, adapt the following mask-making project to the particular needs of your class. This is a great way to teach your students about various animals, such as chimpanzees, elephants, tigers, and dolphins, and, of course, give them a chance to be creative and design their own unique mask depicting the animal of their choice.

animal masks lesson plan

If you teach fourth or fifth grade, use the following papiermâché mask project. This project focuses on great apes who are forced into the entertainment industry, and it will help students understand why animals shouldn’t be taken out of their natural habitats. At the end, they’ll have a completely original papiermâché mask to take home.

paper mache animal masks project

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind