Pop-Up Wildlife Mural

Pop-Up Wildlife Mural lesson plan

This rainforest mural is teeming with plants and animals. Some of them jump right out on their accordion-fold springs!

  • 1.

    Research to find out about life in a rainforest. What vegetation grows there? What kinds of animals can be found? Which insects live there? Find out why rainforests are essential to maintaining a healthy balance in the Earth's natural ecosystem.

  • 2.

    On a large piece of white roll paper, work with several classmates to create a background for your rainforest scene. Illustrate your mural with Crayola® Washable Markers and Crayola Crayons. Show authentic types of trees and plants. In the rainforest, very little sky can be seen through the dense vegetation, so create tiny patches of blue sky and yellow sun. Rainforests are hot and humid, so leaves might glisten with moisture. Show pools of water and rivers. Rub crayon drawings with a piece of paper towel to make them shine as if they were wet!

  • 3.

    On separate construction paper, use crayons and markers to create the many creatures---animals, insects, birds, snakes, fish---that reside in the rainforest. Cut them out with Crayola Scissors.

  • 4.

    Remove the paper wrappers from several leaf-colored crayons. Place green leaves rib side up under light paper. Rub the side of the crayon over the paper to reveal the leaf image. Cut out the leaves. Polish them with a paper towel if you like.

  • 5.

    Fold strips of paper, about as long and wide as your finger, into tiny accordions. With Crayola Glue Sticks, attach one end of each strip to the cut-out creatures and leaves. Glue the other end or the accordion onto the mural for a 3-D effect.


  • Students research life in a rainforest---including plants, animals, insects, climate.
  • Students discover reasons for the importance of rainforests to the Earth's environment.
  • Students work as a group to create a large3-D rainforest scene that includes leaf rubbings.


  • Offer a variety of print and video resources for children, especially those with special needs, to explore.
  • Find out what rainforest creatures and plants are becoming extinct. Create and color them as part of a community bulletin board. Make only the endangered plants and animals in 3-D to call attention to them.
  • Find out why the rainforests are disappearing so rapidly. Create a poster that tells why it is important for people to save these environments. List ways to help save rainforests from destruction.