INSPIRED BY CRAYBOT – Colour, Contrast, Shape

Students use the craybot (created in a previous lesson) to make a line design, and then use their imagination to find images within the lines. They use twistable crayons to fill the spaces with blended colour and write a story inspired by their design.

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour contrast movement narrative shape


Markers - Fine Line Black Twistable Crayons Drawing Paper


INSPIRED BY CRAYBOT – Colour, Contrast, Shape - Step One

Step One

  1. Use the craybot to make several line designs.
  2. Experiment with ways to shift the weight on the craybot to change the kinds of lines it makes.
  3. Choose one of the drawings to work with.
INSPIRED BY CRAYBOT – Colour, Contrast, Shape - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Look at the drawing for several minutes.
  2. Turn it in all directions.
  3. Relax your mind and let your imagination do the work.
  4. See what the lines and shapes remind you of.
INSPIRED BY CRAYBOT – Colour, Contrast, Shape - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use a fine line marker to outline areas in the design that remind you of things.
  2. Use twistable crayons to fill in the spaces.
  3. Blend two or more colours together for each section.
  4. Choose contrasting colours to make the shapes stand out.
INSPIRED BY CRAYBOT – Colour, Contrast, Shape - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Sit with your drawing and imagine the story it tells.
    - Use your picture as a map, letting it lead you through the story. What is the first thing that happens?
    - Who are the main characters?
    - How can you describe them to bring them to life?
    - List at least 5 details about where the story takes place.
    - Describe the colours, shapes and spaces that are important to your story.
    - What is the problem in this story?
    - What are some possible solutions to this problem?
    - What facts or evidence can you provide to back up what you say in the story?
    - Think about how you want the story to end. Make it a satisfying ending.
  2. Write a  first draft of your story and share it with a peer.
  3. Use the feedback you get to edit and refine your story.
  4. Write the final version in good copy and display it with your picture.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • use a motorized robot to draw a variety of lines;
  • use their imagination to find images in the line design;
  • use blended and contrasting colours to create movement;
  • create a narrative inspired by their drawing;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works.


Have students:

  • photograph their images and work together to make a digital class book that includes each image with a story that connects them all together;
  • use the drawings as a backdrop for a stop motion animation they create.


  1. Prior to this lesson have students create a Craybot using the lesson plan available on this website.
  2. Prior to this lesson you may want to have students do the crayon techniques lesson available at Exploring Crayons on this website.
  3. Download and display the Colour, Shape, Movement and Contrast posters available on this website at,
  4. Review or introduce the elements of colour and shape, and the principles of contrast and movement.
  5. Gather and make available a variety of narrative books, for example, Peace Dancer, by Roy Henry Vickers; Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, by Gerald McDermott; Fairy Tales, by E. E. Cummings; Illustrated Stories From The Greek Myths, by Usborne; Illustrated Stories From Dickens, by Mary Sebag-montefiore; Illustrated Arabian Nights, by Anna Milbourne; and Illustrated Stories From Around The World, by Lesley Sims.
  6. Introduce or review the qualities of a good narrative, for example,
    - well organized
    - an entertaining beginning
    - interesting characters
    - details that help bring the story to life in the mind's eye
    - a suspenseful middle 
    - a compelling main event
    - a satisfying ending 
  7. Create a line drawing using the craybot for demonstration purposes.


  1. Discuss the idea of imagining with students,
    - What does it mean to them?
    - How do they do it?
    - Where do the ideas or images come from?
    - What is the best thing about imagining?
  2. Display the craybot line drawing so everyone can see it.
  3. Ask students to view the drawing for a few minutes until they see objects emerge from the lines and shapes.
  4. Turn the paper in all directions and have students outline shapes of the objects they see.
  5. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Use a motorized robot to draw a variety of lines.
  2. Use your imagination to find images in the line design.
  3. Use blended and contrasting colours to create movement.
  4. Create a narrative inspired by your drawing.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment.
  6. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when:
    DRAWING - 
    - there are many images in the drawing
    - there are lots of blended colours 
    - contrast is used effectively
    - colours and shapes move the eye through the drawing
    - the drawing is in good condition
    - connects strongly with the drawing
    - has an entertaining beginning
    - has lots of details
    - has fully developed characters
    - creates suspense
    - backs up information with fact or evidence
    - has a satisfying ending
  3. Encourage students to let their imagination flow.
  4. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  5. Observe students as they work. 
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - Share their work and discuss the things that are especially effective and why.
    - Talk about what they found satisfying about doing this project.
    - Talk about what they found challenging about doing this project and how they solved their problems.
    - Talk about how they might use what they learned in a different way.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.


  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the drawings – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – InspiredByCraybot_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – InspiredByCraybot_self-assessment.pdf)