Learning Library

A New Species: Fictitious Animals

Let your students create a new species!

Play-Doh Fictitious Animals Lesson

P.S. Keep reading to learn how you can win Play-Doh for your classroom! 

Learning Area: Science, Art, SEL, English Language Arts
Time: 1 hour
Grades: K-3

Get your student’s creativity flowing by letting them create a new species of animal! Students will have the opportunity to design their animal, name it, decide its habitat/environment and what it eats. Through brainstorming, creating, and sharing, students will be able to successfully bring a new animal to life (at least in Play-Doh modeling compound form!) 



  • Play-Doh modeling compound 
  • Paper 
  • Miscellaneous items of your choice to embellish or imprint animals with (pipe cleaners, buttons, eyes, gems, beads, noodles, etc.) 



  1. Ask your students what their favorite animal is. Let a few students share their responses. Write some of these animals on the board. Discuss characteristics of each animal (looks, habitat, environment, diet, etc.)
  2. Open the opportunity for students to create their own animals by allowing them to think about their favorite animal and what they like about that animal. With this thought, ask students if they want to create their own animal!
  3. Pass out paper to each student and give them time to brainstorm. What do they want their new animal to look like? What will their animal eat? Where will their animal live? What will their animal be called?
    *Kindergarten students can draw their responses to these questions. 
  4. Once students have finished brainstorming, give them Play-Doh modeling compound to bring their animal to life. Allow them the opportunity to use any of the miscellaneous supplies you have provided, in any way they want. 
  5. When they have finished their animal, let them share it! Younger students can practice their public speaking skills by presenting their animal to the class. Older students can write about their animals, sharing facts about their animal or even writing a short story about their animal!


Pro Tip: Early finishers can use their extra Play-Doh to calm or create! 


Activity inspired by Christina B. of WI as part of our Play-Doh Giveaway!  

Planning to create a new species in your classroom—or use Play-Doh modeling compound in other ways? Add Play-Doh to your school supply list and enter to win free Play-Doh and other classroom favorites! Visit our We Love Teachers Sweepstakes page to learn more.


Originally posted 2024

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