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RZSS Education

Animal Art

Age Suitability: S1 - S6

Availability: Edinburgh Zoo, Highland Wildlife Park

Lesson Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

Maximum Class Size: 33




Content (and curriculum links):

This session very much promotes interdisciplinary learning allowing many parts of the science curriculum to be addressed alongside key elements of art and design (EXA 2-03a, EXA 4-06a, EXA 2-08a). A short introduction will highlight that, although the arts and science are seen by many to be very different subjects, nature has been inspiring design throughout history whilst art is continually used to communicate science. The session is designed to provide time for your group to create, but also links to teaching of biodiversity (SCN 3-01a) and adaptations (SCN 4-01a).


Lesson Outline:

Each session will begin with a brief introduction to the work of RZSS, as well as a short discussion on how art and science are linked. Teachers may request in advance one of 2 options for the remainder of the session:

  • Option 1: To be allowed time for students to look at our collection of biofacts (animal artefacts including a range of exotic skulls, skeletons, skins, furs, feathers and more) in order to create compositions for still-life drawing or as inspiration for product design. This session would take place within our education centre.
  • Option 2: To be taken on a guided tour of our site by an education officer highlighting how art and science combine in the fields of enclosure design, interpretation/signage, as well as highlighting some of the natural designs and adaptations created by evolution our on-site. This can help to provide inspiration and context to any artwork (be it drawings, photography, etc.) the students may wish to create during the trip.

After the session you can enjoy a self-guided tour to draw/photograph some of the animals at their enclosures. Please note that only limited craft art materials are available from our education centre and are only available during the allotted time of the session. Consequently we recommend when possible for groups to bring their own art supplies.

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