Magnificent Mosaic

Magnificent Mosaic lesson plan

Discover the ancient art form of mosaics—with a contemporary twist! Layer and mix Crayola® Model Magic to create unique, detailed sculptures.

  • 1.

    A mosaic is an art form made with small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. Individual pieces are called tesserae. They fit together to form a design, which is set in mortar. Mosaics can decorate ceilings, floors, walls, sidewalks, and furniture.

  • 2.

    People of many cultures have used mosaic art. Mosaics appeared as early as 3000 BCE and became widespread during 300 BCE in cities ruled by Greece. In the 6th century, mosaics were a popular art form in the Byzantine Empire. Islamic people of India and Persia, the Aztec and Mayan Indians, and Mexicans in modern times have all created mosaic art.

  • 3.

    Research and find examples of each of these types of mosaics, ancient and modern. Discuss and share pictures with your classmates. How have mosaics changed over time? How are they similar?

  • 4.

    To create tesserae for your own mosaic, press thin layers of different colors of Model Magic together into strips. Blend primary colors, or add white, to make new hues. For a marbled effect, slightly twist and knead colored layers together. You could also create solid-color tesserae. Use your imagination to try different techniques to mix, layer, and imprint the modeling material. Cut your strips into tiny pieces with Crayola Scissors. Air-dry your tesserae overnight.

  • 5.

    Place your tesserae in a design on foam board. Try laying some flat. Turn others on their sides or stand them up to add height. Exchange tesserae with classmates for more variety. Experiment with designs to find one that pleases you.

  • 6.

    Attach your mosaic pieces with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry your design before you display it.


  • Children learn about the ancient art form of mosaics.
  • Children compare and contrast mosaics from different cultures and time periods.
  • Children create their own tesserae and design an original mosaic with the pieces.


  • Design and create a class-size mosaic as part of the study of history, cultures, or mathematics.
  • Find pictures of an ancient mosaics of people, such as one of Alexander the Great. Create self-portrait mosaics in the same style.