Diversity Word Basket

Diversity Word Basket lesson plan

Work together to weave a multicolored basket with Crayola Model Magic® Naturals. Fill it with words that celebrate differences.

  • 1.

    Early baskets found in Egypt have been carbon dated to be between 10,000 and 12,000 years old. This is earlier than the oldest pottery. Baskets can have both utilitarian and ceremonial uses. They are still used in many African countries to carry fruits, vegetables, and even water. Native cultures in North America use baskets for sacred rituals and celebrations. Baskets are made from a variety of natural fibers including woods, grasses, and animal bones and hides. Contemporary baskets can be made of shredded paper, plastics, and even telephone wire. They can be mass-produced or created as one-of-a-kind fine art objects.

  • 2.

    This basket is made of woven pieces of Crayola Model Magic® Naturals colors, making it a unique combination of weaving and pottery. The project is the most fun when created in groups of three. Estimate how much Model Magic compound your group will need to make a coiled basket.

  • 3.

    Each student chooses one of three natural colors (bisque, terra cotta, earthtone). Roll golf ball-sized pieces of each color into coils approximately 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 cm) long.

  • 4.

    In your group, attach your three coil ends and begin braiding your coils one over the other, taking turns for your color. Braid the compound carefully, keeping the colors separate.

  • 5.

    After the braid is complete, start to coil one end around to make a tight, flat circle for the base of the basket. Continue making more braids as needed. Attach them end to end, turning the braids on their sides, to create the sides of the basket. Create

  • 6.

    To make a lid, create another flat, braided coil. Curl a small piece of braid to make a handle. Air-dry the basket separately from the lid for 24 hours.

  • 7.

    Cut several small pieces of colorful paper. With Crayola Multicultural Markers, write positive descriptive words unique to each person in your group. Fold the papers in half. Place them in the basket. Read them aloud to remind each other about how unique


  • Students estimate the amount of materials needed to complete the project.
  • Students collaborate in a group process to plan and design the shape and size of their art.
  • Students reflect on, and communicate in writing and orally, positive features about each other.


  • Create a classroom-sized Diversity Word Basket. Each group contributes to fill the basket with positive words.
  • Collect recycled woven vessels. Take them apart to discover how they are made. Try to reproduce the weaving.
  • Collect baskets made with different materials. Learn about basic weaving techniques. Use different materials such as paper and wire to reproduce them.
  • Create coiled pots from Air-Dry Clay. Study other forms of pottery including pinch pots and pots thrown on a wheel.
  • Create an appreciation basket for a teacher, friend, or community member and fill it with wonderful words about the recipient.