Golden Sunburst

Golden Sunburst lesson plan

Make a decorative replica that’s beautiful enough to display in the Palace of Versailles, where the Sun King lived and reigned.

  • 1.

    The King of France, Louis XIV, who enlarged the Chateau (Palace) of Versailles was known as the Sun King. He became king when he was only 5 years old! Find out why he was called the Sun King, where Versailles is located, and other information about this famous king.

  • 2.

    Create the sun’s face. With the palms of your hands, roll Crayola® Air-Dry Clay into a Ping-Pong ball size. Flatten it on a clean, washable surface to form the sun’s face.

  • 3.

    Using your fingers and small bits of clay, add the eyes, nose, and mouth. You can use a toothpick to help shape the features. To attach the pieces, make small X’s (cross-hatches) on the face where you want to place the pieces and also on the piece itself. Wet with a damp finger and attach.

  • 4.

    Make the rays. Roll out a baseball-size amount of clay with a rolling pin. With a craft stick, cut out leaf-shaped rays. With a toothpick, draw lines on each leaf to form ribs and veins. Attach rays to the sun. Add more decorations if you like. Air-dry the clay at least 3 days.

  • 5.

    Cover your art surface with newspaper. Decorate the sunburst with gold Crayola Premier Tempera and Paint Brushes. Air-dry the paint overnight.


  • Students research information about the French King, Louis XIV, including the dates of his reign, the origins of his name the Sun King, and details about the Chateau of Versailles.
  • Students create a clay replica of a sunburst, including details on the face and rays.


  • Use recycled boxes and other items to make a replica of the Palace of Versailles. Include the gardens as well.
  • Create a map identifying the locations of this and other French castles.
  • Assessment: Students write highlights of Louis XIV’s life to display along with their Golden Sunburst.