'Jade' Lotus Carvings

'Jade' Lotus Carvings lesson plan

Recreate the beauty of precious jade in a flower blossom! Sculpt a lotus, the symbol of an open mind in many Asian cultures.

  • 1.

    In many Asian cultures, the lotus flower is a symbol of enlightenment. Just like the lotus, which is a water plant, our minds can open up leaf by leaf to allow in sunlight, even if our roots are in the mud. Jade was often used to carve these flowers, as this gemstone is highly valued by Asian cultures. Research the shape of a lotus flower and the carving methods used with jade. Each blossom is a series of simple petals that range from larger to smaller. Here is one way to sculpt a realistic replica of a jade lotus blossom.

  • 2.

    Mix white and neon green Crayola Model Magic to create a light green jade color. Jade also can be white and salmon, so use these colors if you prefer. Form several fairly large petals. Join them together in the middle to create your first layer.

  • 3.

    Make several more layers of petals, each one slightly smaller than the one before. Press each layer together at the center. Then press each smaller layer inside the larger layer.

  • 4.

    Squeeze your flower slightly from the bottom so it appears to be opening. The tighter you squeeze, the tighter the blossom will be! Air-dry your jade lotus for at least 24 hours.


  • Children research the lotus flower and its symbolism in Asian cultures.
  • Children recognize the variety of colors of jade and the cultural value of this precious stone.
  • Children sculpt a replica lotus that reflects their knowledge of lotus flowers and jade carving techniques.


  • Research the origin of the use of the lotus symbol in Asian cultures. Explain the meanings associated with the symbol. Locate where jade is found on a world map.
  • Study the botanical features of the lotus plant, and create a realistic model of it, including the underwater root system.
  • Find out about other historic and contemporary carvings in jade. What do those symbols represent? Experiment with delicate sculptures using traditional and innovative designs.
  • Assessment: Is the lotus sculpted to look realistic? Can students explain the meaning of the lotus flower in Asian cultures? Can they identify the colors of jade?