Snip-Snap-Crack Crocodile

Snip-Snap-Crack Crocodile lesson plan

Make an animated version of a realistic crocodile---with a mouth that snips and snaps and a tail that cracks.

  • 1.

    Read one or more of Bernard Waber’s stories about Lyle, the crocodile. Then find out more about these amazing animals. Study the shape of their bodies, mouths, and eyes. Look at the textured skin patterns. How is a crocodile different from an alligator?

  • 2.

    Draw a crocodile on oaktag or a recycled file folder with Crayola Heads ‘n Tails Dual-Ended Colored Pencils. Make a separate body with lower jaw, an upper jaw, and a tail.

  • 3.

    Color your crocodile with the colored pencils. You can choose from double the number of vibrant colors! Refer to pictures from your research to create realistic colors and textures. Try using one color over another to vary the hues of greens and blues.

  • 4.

    With a Crayola Fine Line Marker, add details such as the eyes, nose, and scales.

  • 5.

    Attach the tail to the body by overlapping the two pieces. Poke a brass paper fastener through them. Bend the prongs. You should be able to swivel the tail up and down. Do the same with the upper jaw.

  • 6.

    Now your crocodile is ready to tell a story! Pretend he is Lyle and let him open and close his mouth while he talks to a friend, or give him a new name and make up your own story.


  • Students increase their listening and reading comprehension as well as storytelling skills. Most stories lend themselves to discussions. "Lovable Lyle" for example, addresses issues of prejudice.
  • Students use their research and observation skills to learn about crocodile anatomy and apply their higher-level thinking skills to compare and contrast crocodiles and alligators.
  • Students learn texturing techniques by overlapping colors to create the illusion of scales.


  • For very young children or some students with special needs, teachers may wish to provide patterns of the three parts of an alligator to trace.
  • Use the moveable parts technique to create other animal characters. Work together in small groups to create original stories integrating all of the animal characters.
  • Invite an audience to hear students tell their stories using the animal characters as puppets.
  • Assessment: Are the alligator’s body parts accurately attached and do the shapes and coloring show evidence of what was learned? Did the child attempt to create texturing on the crocodile’s skin? Was the child able to retell Lyle’s story or a story of his/her own integrating the moveable crocodile into the story?