MIddle School Studio Lesson
African Animals at LARGE
Stacy H. Lamanna
Ihave always found Africa fascinating. It is so rich with ancient
cultures, crafts, and traditions;
a source of artists’ inspirations
and their works of art. A vast array
of Africa’s tribes and regions produce
their own art specific to
each tribe’s culture. Masks
and sculptures are two of
the most common types of
In addition to Africa’s
art, the terrain is home to
some of the most unique animals
found in the world. From the luscious patterns of the zebra to the
ferocious ways of the lion, these
exotic creatures are often a fascinating topic to middle school students.
Unfortunately, poachers have threatened the very existence of many of
When I thought about hunters
and how they mount these heads
and/or body parts as trophies, I came
Why not display student artwork as
trophies and bring awareness of Africa’s
endangered animals by mounting animal
heads in a traditional taxidermy style?
up with an idea for an alternative.
Why not display student artwork
as trophies and bring awareness
to Africa’s endangered animals by
mounting animal heads in a traditional taxidermy style?
Students were required to research
animals native to Africa. We
enlisted the help of our librarian,
and students used various reference
sources from magazines and books
to gather information from
the Internet. Each student was
required to select a different
animal. Once an animal was
chosen, students sketched its
head from the front, left, and
right profiles. This enabled
students to visualize the animal’s
head from all sides.
Forming the Base
Visualizing a two-dimensional
drawing three dimensionally is
often a challenge for many students.