Magical Courtly Structure

Magical Courtly Structure lesson plan

Build an imaginative fortress, castle, or chateau using Crayola® Model Magic®.

  • 1.

    Find out what materials, designs, and construction methods were used to build castles beginning in medieval times. Then imagine ways to whimsically embellish some of the features. Can towers be topped with shimmering hearts? Could the outside walls be colorful?

  • 2.

    Work with three partners to design a playful Magical Courtly Structure with colored Crayola® Model Magic®. Start with a base of cardboard, foam board, or chipboard. Use straws or other items as structural supports.

  • 3.

    Experiment with different ways to create color effects.<li>Blend white and colored compound to create tints, or mix colors and black to make shades. <li>Blend two primary colors (red, yellow, blue) together to produce a secondary hue (orange, green, violet). <li>Create a marble effect by incompletely blending different colors. <li>For multi-colored layers, flatten two or more pieces of Model Magic by hand or with a rolling pin or dowel stick. Stack the pieces flat on top of each other and roll tightly like a cinnamon roll. Cut segments with Crayola Scissors. Connect pieces to make forms.

  • 4.

    Try various methods to construct forms for the main castle, outdoor stairs, chimneys, as well as stables, courtyards, a chapel, and moat.<li>Towers and turrets: Roll out Model Magic with a rolling pin or dowel to about 1/4-inch thick. Bend the flat piece to form a cylinder. Poke or cut holes for windows. Allow the form to stiffen slightly. Meanwhile, roll out smaller amounts and bend into cone shapes for the roof. Place on top of the tower. <li>Walls and curtain walls: Roll out Model Magic and cut into rectangles with scissors. Attach walls to towers or other walls. Cut slots for drawbridge arms. <li>Embellishments: Cut small shapes for shingles, crenellations, stones, merlons, or other architectural details. Roll spheres and apply to walls and towers for decoration. Roll thin coils and glue around window openings.

  • 5.

    Use Crayola School Glue or dampened fingers to secure pieces as needed. Design and leave a mason's mark (a symbol for each partner) in one of the castle's "stones." When the castle is complete, use Crayola Washable Glitter Glue to decorate it and add magi


  • Students refine their research skills by seeking information on various styles, construction methods, and histories of architecture from medieval times until present.
  • Children work collaboratively in groups of four to create an imaginative 3-dimensional fortress, castle, or chateau.
  • Students explore ways to create color effects and construct forms with modeling compound. Each student designs a personal stone mason's mark, much like a painter who signs a painting, and imprints it on the castle.


  • Write a story about the imaginary castle's construction, everyday life, and history. Be sure to mention various parts of the castle such as keeps, bulwarks, and drawbridges and the many people who lived there.
  • Plan and eat a feast fit for kings and queens. Find out what castle residents ate (bread, onions, cheese, pickled vegetables, dried meat, honey) and how it was served and eaten.
  • Design a coat of arms-or better yet find out if your family already has one. Research its meaning, or create one that reflects family history.