Channel your inner animal at!

Posted on Jan 29, 2008 by kjarrett Comments Off on Channel your inner animal at!

Good morning everyone!

Avatar sites are all the rage these days, especially for kids. They have many to choose from, most tied to commercial products like dolls or whatever, not exactly the kind of thing you’d want to bring into a classroom. Thanks to Anna Baralt (whom I know via Twitter and met this weekend at Educon) we’re taking a look today at a fun, educational site called!

Sponsored by the New York Zoos and Aquarium & the Wildlife Conservation Society, is a simple, creative and fun Flash-based application in which kids can design avatars from mild to wild. I’m actually using this with my Second Graders this week (all 107 of them!). Our first task will be to use the myriad human avatar components to come as close as possible to our own “real life look,” something like this:


Then, using the simple interface, we change body parts until we get to something like this:


The really neat part is that each non-human appendage is fully explained in writing in a section called, “What’s Wild About You,” offering easy-to-read insights as to what these adaptations actually do for the animals you’ve ‘borrowed’ them from. This list is accessible when you print the finished work and also on the main page of the site when you are done creating. You can download desktop wallpapers and even send your creation via email.

Kids of all ages could use this site. The very youngest ones will love it just for its sheer silliness. Older students could be tasked with “designing” a new creature to survive in a particular habitat that the teacher describes, including environment, natural resources, and other animals. Students would be able to choose details that show how the animal protects itself, gathers food, or even cares for its young. It’s really well done!

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to and start mutating! :)

Hope this helps,