Wild Ohio Animals in Chalk and Glue

Students will choose an animal commonly found in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and create a chalk-and-glue drawing of it.


Standards Addressed
Grades 5-8, Fine Arts, Visual Arts — Connections, Relationships and Applications

05-08 Benchmark
A. Demonstrate the role of visual art in solving an interdisciplinary problem.


01. Demonstrate different visual forms of representation for the same topic or theme (e.g., expressive, graphic and scientific).


Grade 7, Science — Life Sciences, Diversity and Interdependence of Life

06-08 Benchmark
C. Explain how energy entering the ecosystems as sunlight supports the life of organisms through photosynthesis and the transfer of energy through the interactions of organisms and the environment.

Y2003.CSC.S02.G06-08.BC.L07.I03 / Diversity and Interdependence of Life

03. Explain how the number of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on adequate biotic (living) resources (e.g., plants, animals) and abiotic (non-living) resources (e.g., light, water and soil).


Books, magazines, printed animal imagery

12x18-in. black construction paper

Elmer’s Glue-All

Color artist’s chalks

Lamination materials


Optional Materials
Try a white background paper for a white glue line. When the glue dries to transparency, whatever the background paper color is, that is the color the outlines will remain.


Students are introduced to the wide variety of animal life found within Cuyahoga Valley National Park. With teacher assistance, they do their own research into the animals and their habitats within the park. A question-and-answer session about the interdependency of animals and plant life within Cuyahoga Valley National Park should be encouraged.

Once students have chosen their favorite animal, they use two challenging media: chalk and glue, to draw it on a black piece of construction paper. Elements of design are reviewed and required. Students are asked to draw their animal largely enough to fill most of the page with an asymmetrical layout. Details of the environment are added, but since glue will be used over the pencil lines, objects must be kept fairly large and simple.

Once the drawing is finished, students carefully trace over their pencil lines with Elmer’s Glue-All. Allowed to dry, the glue becomes a plastic outline ready to be filled with colorful chalk. Students are taught how to blend colors of chalk solidly and brightly, and how to create textures for fur, feathers and scales. Once the page is filled with chalk, the glue line emerges as an uneven black outline of the animal and its environment. Laminating the artwork allows the chalk and glue drawing to be safely displayed.

The students will accomplish the following:

  • Research and render a wild Ohio animal
  • Use the elements of design for drawing and coloring
  • Include some details of the environment for the animal chosen
  • Carefully follow directions for gluing
  • Use chalk solidly and blend at least two colors per area


Lists of animals living in Cuyahoga Valley National Park are available online at http://www.nps.gov/cuva/naturescience/animals.htm. Pictures are also available at www.generationscvnp.org/photos.aspx.

  1. Have ready reference materials for student research.
  2. Discuss the wild animals of Ohio, focusing on those that can be found in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Discuss with questions and answers how animals survive within their habitat, and the various ways animals interact and depend upon plant life within the park.
  3. Allow students to brainstorm and research on their own with the materials in the art room. Demonstrate drawing animals with geometric shapes or through observations of contours.
  4. Students then draw their animal and its environment with pencil on the black construction paper.
  5. Demonstrate tracing the pencil lines with white glue. (Students may practice on scrap paper.) The glue bottle tip must be closed down somewhat and touch the paper as it is drawn over the pencil lines. Students should not try to wipe off a mistake; rather, advise them to turn it into something else (possibly with teacher help).
  6. Once glue has dried (at least overnight), chalking is possible. Demonstrate chalking in small areas made by the glue using at least two colors blended together (not overlapped) where the colors meet.
  7. Fill the entire paper until the only black showing is that which is showing through the now-transparent glue lines.
  8. Demonstrate how additional patterns and textures may be added to a solid area of color.
  9. Stress the importance of controlling the airborne chalk dust by either tapping off excess or blowing it off away from others. (Advise the students to be mindful of those around them when blowing chalk dust.)
  10. Students need to write their names with white chalk on the back of the artwork.
  11. Plan on laminating the artwork for the students so that their colorful masterpieces may be safely displayed.



Task Score 1-25
Student researched and rendered a wild Ohio animal.  
Student incorporated elements of design for drawing and coloring.  
Student demonstrated knowledge of the animal’s habitat by including details of the appropriate environment.  
Student followed gluing and chalking directions carefully.  


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