Avatars #1: BuiLD YouR WiLD SeLF

Submitted by Fiona Beal
Every year I get my Grade 1- Grade 8 classes  ICT classes to create avatars to use for various purposes for example to upload to their Edmodo profile, Google classroom profiles, Gmail profiles, blog profiles etc. In this series of posts we will look at these various avatar creation applications in more details.  We’ll start off with the free avatar-building BuiLD YouR WiLD SeLF found at http://www.buildyourwildself.com/. No registration or login is required.


How to use BuiLD YouR WiLD SeLF

The way it works is you start with a human creature and then start adding animal parts. The program was created by the New York Zoos and Aquarium and a link to the New York Zoos and Aquariums can be found on the website pages.. It is a very easy site to use. No registration or logins are required. To get started  enter a name, choose boy or girl, and add various body parts. One just follows the prompts and makes choices from the various options continually. You can view the names of the animals as you mouse over each part of the options offered.


Paragraphs describing the body parts of the animals chosen are informative and a species name is also generated for your creation.


When you’re finished, click “Print your wild self”, and then save that screen with a screen shot to save your work in your computer. Other sharing options include sending your creation to a friend by email, add as a desktop background or printing your wild self.

A tutorial from YouTube

Examples from the classroom

I have used this application in Grades 1,2 and 3. It has always been well-received. There’s something about a ‘wild self’that appeals to students.

BEN hannah-lyn2
mikey2 savanah

Uses in the classroom

1. You could get your learners to write an adventure they had in their new wild body.

.2. They could create a wild self and use the information displayed at the end to understand why features they have chosen are necessary for their survival. They can write a paragraph about this.

3. Learners could write a report or create a multimedia presentation of their own various features and how the life of their created wild self is changed because of these features.

4. Learners could write a poem or story about a day in the life of the wild self created, using the new creature as a writing prompt.

Younger students especially really enjoy this application. Why not try it out sometime!

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