Animal Remix – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Animal Remix

Design a mythical animal through collage and illustration! This activity builds creativity as children combine items in new ways.

Materials Required

  • Blank paper
  • Pens, pencils, markers, or crayons (something to write and draw with)
  • Color copies of animal photos from books, magazines or the Internet

Instructions

Children can approach the Animal Remix activity in two ways: 1) building a collage or 2) using their imagination.

For the collage method:

  1. Using pictures of animals from magazines, paste together the front of one animal with the back of a different animal to invent a new, imaginary animal.
  2. Describe the creature’s special features and why they are cool or important to its survival.
  3. Create a name for the animal.

For the imagination method:

  1. Compile a list of animals.
  2. Write down the most exciting aspects of the animal on a piece of paper. Below are sample animal characteristics and habitats.
  3. Decide where their animal will live, what it will eat, and how it will move. These decisions can help inform the features of the creature. For example, if an animal lives in the Arctic it might need very thick fur to keep warm. (The imaginary creature does not need to be realistic.)
  4. Draw a picture of the imaginary animal with some of the interesting characteristics in its habitat.
  5. Describe the creature’s special features and why they are cool or important to its survival.
  6. Create a name for the animal.
Characteristics & Abilities
(Some real, others imagined)
Habitats
(Some real, others imagined)
Tough armor-like skin covering Rocky seashore
Extendable toes Polar ice cap
Sharp teeth Redwood forest
Unbreakable shell Storm cloud
Lightning-fast color change Desert cactus flower
Suction cup feet Rainforest floor

Additional Tips

Try these add-on activities:

  • Invent a myth or a fable that tells the story of your animal.
  • Imagine what your creature’s life is like. What adventures might it have while in its natural habitat? Who or what does it eat? Who eats your animal? Where does it sleep? How does it play? Does it live alone or in a group?
  • Turn the imaginary animal into a three-dimensional sculpture with blocks, papier-mâché, glue and fabric.

Links to Creativity

Creativity often involves combining things in new ways. The more different things appear in the beginning, the more creativity it takes to combine them into something that makes sense. We use associations—a fancy way of describing how we find similarities between things—to create new ideas. Neuroscientists created a test called the Remote Associates Test (RAT) to measure how far apart ideas were by seeing how easy it is for people to connect them. For example, what is one word that connects to each of these three words: falling, actor and dust. If you guessed star, then you guessed correctly.

Supporting research includes:

Kounios, J., & Beeman, M. (2009). The aha! moment: The cognitive neuroscience of insight. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(4), 210-216.
Mednick, S. A. (1968). The Remote Associates Test. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 2(3), 213-214.

Contributor

This activity was contributed by the Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.
For more information and resources see CenterforChildhoodCreativity.org.

©2014 Bay Area Discovery Museum

Animal Remix

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