THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture

Students create a 3-dimensional hanging picture using Model Magic on foam core board.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Kindergarten to Grade 6


Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


3-dimensional balance bas relief composition contrast detail


Crayola Model Magic Classpack - Assorted Colours Crayola Washable Glue Crayola Glitter Glue Foam Core Board - 10 cm x 12.7 cm (4" x 5") - 1 per student Ribbon Tooth Picks

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THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step One

Step One

  1. Trace your foam core board 4 times on a piece of paper for your planning sketches.
THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Explore a few different ideas for your picture. 
  2. Make sure you organize the space so it is balanced and the design has lots of details.
  3. Choose the idea you like the best.
THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use Model Magic to create your picture.
  2. Press it onto the foam core board to make it stick.
THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Four

Step Four

  1. You may need to use a small amount of Crayola Washable Glue to attach Model Magic to the sides of the foam core board. 
THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Highlight some areas with glitter glue.
  2. Allow the picture to dry for 2 days. 
THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Glue a small piece of ribbon to the back so you can hang the picture. 
THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Give your hanging picture to someone special.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • use Model Magic to create a hanging picture;
  • use contrast and detail to add interest to their work;
  • create a balanced composition;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works.


Have students:

  • use the How to Make a Small Box with a Lid worksheet available on this website to figure out how to create a small box big enough to place their hanging picture in;
  • create and decorate the box;
  • make a small gift card;
  • share what happened when they gave their picture as a gift.


  1. Prior to the lesson have students brainstorm occasions for gift giving.
  2. Gather and make available a variety of picture books about celebrations such as, I'm in Charge of Celebrations, by Byrd Baylor; Twelve Days of Christmas, by Lesley Sims; The Trees of the Dancing Goats, by Patricia Polacco; Some Birthday!, by Patricia Polacco; and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors, by Hena Khan.
  3. Download and display the Balance and Contrast posters available on this website.
  4. Teach the concepts of 
    Balance - the arrangement of elements so they seem of equal importance
    Contrast - the placement of elements that have stong differences near each other


  1. Review special occasions/celebrations and gift giving with students.
    - Why and when do we give gifts?
    - How do we choose the gifts we give?
    - What are some of their favourite gifts?
  2. Conduct a read-aloud with a book such as, The Trees of the Dancing Goats, by Patricia Polacco focussing on the spirit of friendship and gift giving.
  3. Have students share their own stories related to celebrations and gift giving.
  4. Ask students to come up with four ideas for their hanging picture.
  5. Discuss the difference between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional. 
  6. Introduce the term bas relief - A relief sculpture that is fairly flat. The shapes stand out slightly from the background and the whole thing is meant to be viewed from one side.
  7. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Use Model Magic to create a hanging picture.
  2. Use contrast and detail to add interest to your work.
  3. Create a balanced composition.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity. 
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a Model Magic hanging
    - placed shapes to balance the composition
    - used contrast to create areas of emphasis
    - added lots of details to add interest
    - kept the finished hanging in good condition
  3. Demonstrate how to roll, cut and poke Model Magic, asking students to share their ideas about how to work with it.
  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 discuss the scenes and encourage them to support their ideas with evidence they find in the works.
    - Compare your scenes and describe to each other what you did to get certain effects.
    - Talk about the things you think make the scenes effective.
    - Talk about what was difficult to do and what was easy for you to do.
  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 their artworks – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, holds hanging to the side, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Scene_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Scene_self-assessment.pdf, or Scene_Primary_self-assessment.pdf)