Frankenstein My Animal

Grade 6: Life Systems.

Contributed by: Gordon Webb.


  • Biodiversity includes diversity of individuals, species, and ecosystems.
  • Classification of the components within a diverse system is a beginning point for understanding the interrelationships among the components.



Inquiry Skills Used

This is a research activity using various secondary reference sources to create an animal.

Safety Considerations

Students should use caution when cutting modelling clay for animals.


Students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of ways in which classification systems are used to understand the diversity of living things and investigate various classification systems.  This lesson will provide the students with an understanding of the various criteria used to help identify various animals into their classifications. The students will become biodiversity scientists who are going to create new life forms using genetic engineering.  The students could work in pairs to create their new life form based on specific structural characteristics of an animal classification.  The students will create an animal using plasticene but also produce an oral report, which the pair will present during the class’s “New Life Symposium”.

What You Need

  • Modelling Clay
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Tongue depressors
  • Computer lab
  • Plastic knives to shape
  • Science books on classifications systems
  • Overhead projector
  • Presentation materials
  • Video projector

Green Glob

What to Do

  1. Group the students into pairs.
  2. Provide a mini lesson on classification systems and animals.
  3. Instruct the students that they will be creating a new life form, which can survive the changes in climate due to global warming.
  4. Provide the students with index cards from which they can randomly select an animal classification. (This will ensure the full range of classifications.)
  5. The students then research their classification for specific characteristics.
  6. The new animal must meet the criteria and have the identified characteristics of the classification.
  7. The students then mould the new animal using modelling clay.
  8. There is also a research component in which the students must create a presentation to describe the new life.

Summary Notes

The project research must include the following:

  •         the animal’s physical appearance
  • the animal’s structural characteristics
  • the animal’s life processes
    • growth
    • reproduction
    • movement
    • adaptations
  • the animal’s Phylum or Class within the animal Kingdom
    • invertebrates
    •          vertebrates

Where to Go from Here?

Students can play games where they sort pictures of animals into their phylum, class, family, etc. based on the characteristics they determine exist in that animal.

STSE Links

Polar bears are potentially facing extinction due to the melting of the polar ice caps.  What adaptations must the polar bear make to survive in its new environment or is it doomed to extinction?  How do animals survive in desert locations when there is little or no rain?

Cross Curricular Connections

Visual Arts

  • Produce two- and three-dimensional works of art for specific purposes and for specific audiences.
  • Describe, in their plan for a work of art, how they will research their subject matter, select their media, and use the elements and principles of design in solving the artistic problems in the work.

Language Strand

Oral and Visual Communication

  • Use constructive strategies in small-group discussions.
  • Follow up on others’ ideas, and recognize the validity of different points of view in group discussions or problem-solving activities.
  • Identify a variety of purposes for speaking and explain how the purpose and intended audience influence the choice of form.
  • Demonstrate an increasingly sophisticated understanding of appropriate speaking behaviour for science-related activities.

Credit Where Credit is Due

How 3D holograms work

Holograms are photographic recordings of 3D scenes. Unlike a camera, which captures one view through a small viewer focused by a lens, holograms capture an entire light field which allows them to recreate the 3D scene. Shimmery 2D projections, like pre-recorded Pepper’s ghost illusion, are often confused with 3D holograms.