Pathway: Flora And Fauna

Pathway for Years 1 & 2

Drawing, Collage, Sketchbooks

Key Concepts:

  • That artists can be inspired by the flora and fauna around them.

  • That we can use careful looking to help our drawing, and use drawing to help looking.

  • That we can use a variety of materials to make images, and that the images we make can become imaginative.

  • That we can create individual artwork, and that we can bring that artwork together to make a shared artwork.

In this pathway children are introduced to the idea that many artists use flora and fauna to inspire their work. We look at artists who used drawing as a way to accurately capture the way plants and insects look, and artists who use their imagination to create their own versions of flora and fauna.

Children spend time engaged in close looking as a way to build drawing skills. They also experiment with new materials. 

They practice cutting and collage skills and explore shape and colour to build images.

Finally there is the opportunity for children to work collaboratively on a shared background for the artwork, and pupils can see how their individual efforts are valued as part of a larger class artwork. 

Handwriting pen, Graphite, Oil pastel, Paper & Collage

Artists: Eric Carle, Joseph Redoute, Jan Van Kessel

If you use this resource in your setting, please tag us on social media: #InspiredBy @accessart (facebook, twitter) (instagram) and share the url. Thank you!

Oil pastel and graphite fly
The Wildflower Meadow by Rachel Burch
ages 5-8

Teaching Notes

Find the MTP for this pathway here.

Curriculum Links

English: Explore The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or books illustrated in similar style.  

Geography: Explore habitats, soil, vegetation, cities/towns/villages, seasonal weathers. Use language which supports these ideas.  

Science: Identify common and wild plants, insects, food chains, life cycle, living and decay. 

PSHE: Responsibility to the planet, Collaboration, Peer Discussion. 

I Can…

  • I have enjoyed looking at art made by other artists inspired by flora and fauna. 

  • I can look closely at insects and plants and make drawings using pen to describe what I see.

  • I can experiment using graphite and oil pastel and make my own insects.

  • I can cut out shapes in different colours, and use these shapes to make an insect or bug. I can think about its body parts and what I would like them to look like.

  • I can work with my classmates to make a shared drawing.

  • I can share my artwork with the class. I can listen to what my classmates like about it and I can share what I like about their work. 


This pathway takes 6 weeks, with an hour per week. Shorten or lengthen the suggested pathway according to time and experience. Follow the stages in green for a shorter pathway or less complex journey.


Sketchbooks, soft pencils, coloured pencils, oil/chalk pastels, handwriting pens, graphite, collage papers, A1 paper, water colour and/or ready mixed paint over sugar paper, brushes, scrap papers.

Pathway: Inspired by Flora & Fauna

A PDF of this pathway can be found here.

  • Aims of Pathway

    The aim of this pathway is to introduce children to the idea that artists can be inspired by the flora and fauna around them. 

  • Week 1: Introduce

    Explore the Work of Artists Who Are Inspired by Flora & Fauna

    Introduce children to the work of one or more artists on the free to access “Talking Points: Artists Inspired by Flora & Fauna” resource. Use the resource as a starting point to encourage an exploration. You may also have artists local to you who are inspired by your local flora and fauna. 

    Invite pupils to make drawings in their sketchbooks of their favourite artworks as a way of enabling them to start to build a collection of “experiences” in their sketchbook. Make time as you look at the resource above for this activity. 

  • Week 2: Show Me What You See

    Drawing from Film

    Drawing Insects

    Working from the free to access “Drawing Source Material: Insects” resource, invite children to make drawings of the insects, working in their sketchbooks.

    Pause the films at various points, and invite the children to verbally describe what they see, what they notice, before inviting them to make sketches in their books. As they sketch, give them a time limit (like 5 or 10 minutes) and talk to them about the things they just noticed, so that they think of these things as they draw.

    Use a handwriting pen and encourage them to make their drawings fill the page. 

    Use the “Show Me What You See” to support your facilitation.

  • Week 3: Deepen the Exploration

    Using Graphite and Oil Pastel

    Oil pastel and graphite fly

    Use the “Graphite and Oil Pastel” resource to encourage children to expand their mark making.

    Pupils can draw again from the films above, or from colour photocopies, or if you can get them, buy (or loan) insect samples. Encourage children to continue close and careful looking. 

    Remember this is also about learning how a new material works (oil pastel and chunky graphite). Pupils will need to work on a slightly larger scale to accommodate the medium.

  • Week 4 & 5

    Make Your Minibeast Collage

    Invite the children to make individual mini beast collages which you can display as one. Use the “Mini Beast Artwork” resource. 

  • Inspire

    Introduce Eric Carle

    Eric Carles Very Hungry Caterpillar

    When you feel children need a break or need inspiring, use the free to access “Talking Points: Eric Carle” resource to invigorate them. 

  • Extension


    The Wildflower Meadow by Rachel Burch

    If you have time, or if you have a group of pupils who need a challenge, invite them to work together to make a painting of a flower meadow. This could exist as an artwork in itself, or as a background to your collaged minibeasts.

    Use the “Drawing Source Material: Wild Flower Meadow” resource if they need to work from imagery. 

    Use the “Wild Flower” resource to see a painting activity which you can use. 

  • Week 6: Share & Celebrate

    Display, Reflect & Talk

    Lucia Hierro Youtube Screenshot

    Tidy the room and make space to see the sketchbook work as well as the final outcomes. 

    Remind the pupils of the progress they made, and the artists they saw along the way. Invite them to make links between the work they made in sketchbooks, on drawing sheets and final pieces, and the work by artists. 

    Encourage them to feel safe to share how they feel about their own work, and nurture an environment where pupils feel able to comment on their classmates work, treating everyones work with respect.

    Use the resource here to help you run a class “crit”.

See This Pathway Used In Schools

Penny Kemp, @mrskempcreativeteaching
Penny Kemp, @mrskempcreativeteaching
Penny Kemp, @mrskempcreativeteaching

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