Sea Animals

Author: Katie Cook-Zamora
Year: 2009
Artform: Visual Art
Subjects: Language Arts
Grade: Kindergarten
Duration: 2 Hours

The kindergarten students learn about ocean animals in their classroom. This learning will be enhanced in art through reading and discussing a book together as a class, learning about and using shapes and lines to draw sea animals and plants and identifying and using correct colors for each ocean animal or plant.


  • Pencils
  • 9×12” white drawing paper
  • Oil pastels or crayons
  • Googly eyes
  • Elmer’s liquid glue
  • Watercolor paint boxes
  • Newspaper
  • Water cups and table salt


Book Resources

Download PDF Lesson Plan

Standards & Objectives

Fine Art Standards
Integrated Standards

The student can control the pencil in various directions. The student can understand and use a variety of lines in creating artwork. The student can identify the 3 basic shapes. The student understands that artwork can contain organic shapes. The student can draw organic and geometric shapes. The student can recognize and name colors.

With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text. With prompting and support, identify characters, settings and major events in a story. With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story. Identify the front cover, back cover and title page of a book.

The student will be able to identify the front cover, back cover and title page of a book. They will be able to begin to tell the difference between author and illustrator, and answer questions about the story. The student will also be able to follow step-by-step instructions to create a drawing of ocean animals and plants. They will be able to use lines and shapes to block-in their drawing and then identify colors to use for each of the animals and plants in their picture.

Teaching and Timeline


Read a book about the ocean to the students. Some options are, Over in the Ocean by Marianne Berkes, Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward, T.J. Marsh and Kenneth Spengler, or Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae.

Before beginning to read, have the students help identify front cover, back cover and title page of the book. Then tell them who the author is and the illustrator and help them understand the role that each of these play in creating the book. As you read, have the students help identify rhyming words and characters. Have them whisper the answer to their neighbor if they know it, and then ask one student to tell you the answer. Ask them to guess which ocean animal it is from the picture before reading the page. Ask them to expand on what they know about the ocean animal. When finished reading, review what an author and an illustrator do.


At the whiteboard or on the document camera model for students the process of drawing an ocean scene. Display pictures of the ocean animals for students to observe as they draw with you. The first step is to draw some sand and seaweed. Then some coral and maybe a crab, an eel, a starfish, a seahorse or a sea anemone. Then give them options like sea turtles, clown fish, sharks, dolphins, or angel fish.

Use the book 1-2-3 Draw Ocean Life by Freddie Levin. As you draw examples for the students, explain to them that they can choose which sea animals they want in their picture and where to place them. They can also choose the types of coral they want to include.

Work Period

Give the students time to finish their drawings after you have concluded your demonstration. When they are ready, have them color their pictures with oil pastels. Remind them to look at the pictures on display help identify the color they need to use. You may want to demonstrate good coloring skills as well.

When their coloring is finished, show them how to do a blue watercolor wash over their entire picture and sprinkle some salt on top to create the look of sunlight on the surface of the water. The last step will be to have the students glue googly eyes on their sea animals to add personality to their piece.


When all of the pictures are finished, hold a class share. Put the students in small groups and have each student share their picture one at a time. As each student shows their picture, allow them to tell a short story about it to the others in the group.


This art lesson is integrated with language arts and science. The students are learning about literature, such as the author and the illustrator and the title page front and back of a book. They are also learning about listening carefully and discussing and answering questions about the book. In science, students are investigating living things and describing their parts.

  • Organic shapes- Shapes associated with things from the natural world like plants and animals.
  • Creature- an animate being

This lesson makes use of strong visuals, such as pictures of the ocean animals, use of the document camera to help all students see what is being demonstrated. A short video clip of ocean life would also be appropriate for this. Students are asked to whisper answers to their neighbor, you could also have them tell it to their hand or hold up fingers for how many of a certain type of animal.

  • What type of creatures live in the ocean?
  • What kind of shapes and lines do you use to draw the parts of the ocean creatures?

Put the students into pairs and have each person take turns drawing for their partner 2 ocean animals. Have them describe the shapes they are using to their partner as they draw. Walk around and observe the groups as they work.

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