ACTIVITY 2.5
DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET
Animal Paintbrushes:
Fur, Feathers, Scales, and Wool
DESCRIPTION STANDARDS
As an extension of the exploration of the outer
covering of animals (activity 2.4), children can
use the faux fur, feathers, scales, and wool as
tools with paint. The feathers make interesting
paintbrushes, and the fur scales and wool can
be used to create imprints. Experimenting with
the materials through the medium of paint helps
children further understand the properties of
the materials. For example, they may find that
the faux scales do not absorb the paint but leave a
geometric pattern on the paper. The paint tends
to stick to the top of the fur, and the feathers
make wispy lines on the paper.

Next Generation Science Standards,
Kindergarten – K-LS1-1 From Molecules to
Organisms: Structures and Processes (Life
Sciences) Use observations to describe patterns in the natural
world in order to answer scientific questions.

Head Start Early Learning Outcomes
Framework – Scientific Reasoning (Scien-
tific Inquiry)
Goal P-SCI 1. Child observes and describes observ-
able phenomena (objects, materials, organisms,
and events).

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LIFE SCIENCE—ANIMALS
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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET
Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early
Childhood, Prekindergarten – Biological
Sciences 3.1 PK.A.5. Name basic parts of living things.

MATERIALS samples of faux fur, feathers, skin with scales,
and wool
tempera paint
easel paper
white construction paper, 11 by 17 inches
containers for the paint
IMPLEMENTATION 1. Part of this activity can be implemented at
the easel. Longer feathers, such as turkey
feathers, make good substitutes for paint-
brushes and create unique paint marks on
the paper.

2. Painting with the faux fur, small feathers,
scales, and wool can be implemented as a
special activity in preschool or as a small-
group table activity in kindergarten. The
paint for this part of the activity should be
placed in shallow dishes so that children can
dip the full surface of the materials in the
paint to create imprints.

SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION
The outer covering of animals protects them
from rain and snow. Both fur and feathers repel
water, which helps keep the animal dry. Some
dogs, such as huskies and sheepdogs, have a
double coat. The coarse outer coat repels rain and
snow while the dense inner coat stays dry and
warm. Birds have a special way to keep dry. They
have oil glands near their tails. They use their
beaks to spread this oil over their feathers; the oil
makes the feathers even more water resistant.

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CHAPTER 2
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