Moroccan Mosaic

Moroccan Mosaic lesson plan

Explore the ancient artwork of Moroccan culture! Design a mosaic, called a zillij, full of brightly colored, recycled Model Magic tiles!

  • 1.

    Mosaic art is created by arranging various colors of tiles, made from stone, clay, or glass, to form a picture. This form of artwork has been around for centuries, and can be found in almost every culture. Moroccan mosaics are unique in that they are primarily geometrical, reflecting intricate designs and patterns. This decorative style is called "zillij" and uses specially shaped tiles that fit tightly together to create the mosaic designs.

  • 2.

    Research and find some examples of zillij mosaic art. Where were these mosaics displayed? How are they used today? Share your findings with the class.

  • 3.

    Use leftover Crayola Model Magic® from other projects to create your tiles. Simply cut these extra pieces of Model Magic into smaller pieces of various sizes. Store these until you have enough colors and tiles to create a zillij mosaic! If leftover Model Magic is still wet, lay flat to dry out before storing with the other tiles to prevent sticking. Model Magic that has been swirled or blended together will make great tiles, too!

  • 4.

    Design a zillij of your own. Sketch your design on paper with Crayola Color Sticks or Crayola Crayons. You may want to use a ruler to measure out geometric shapes and patterns.

  • 5.

    Press out a sheet of fresh Model Magic to use as the backing for the tiles. Try to make it as flat as possible, and no thicker than a pencil.

  • 6.

    Using your sketch as a guide, lay out the Model Magic tiles to create your zillij. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack will stick to itself. Dried pieces can be glued together with Crayola No-Run School Glue. Leave a tiny amount of space between each

  • 7.

    Lay the zillij flat and allow glue to air-dry.


  • Students will research and present a brief history of Moroccan mosaic art.
  • Students will understand visual art as it relates to Moroccan history and culture.
  • Students will identify patterns of shapes and colors in zillij artworks and produce geometric patterns on their own.
  • Students demonstrate ability to match colors, shapes, and sizes of tiles to recreate their drawing in mosaic form.


  • Use small cut pieces of colored tissue paper as tiles. Glue onto white tissue paper to create mosaic, and hang from a wooden dowel stick. The glue will make the white tissue paper dry clear, so only the colors will show through. Hang in a window for a sta
  • Mosaic artwork frequently decorated entire walls and hallways. Get the entire class involved in creating a large-scale mosaic to display in the classroom or school hallway. How can you represent your school in the mosaic?
  • Display each student’s zillij in the classroom. Gather students to view each other’s work and discuss the various geometric patterns that were created. How many of the designs are symmetrical? Can you find a pattern in each zillij?