ELEMENTS CHALLENGE – Colour, Texture, Line, Shape

Students challenge themselves to make a non-objective design using shapes, mixed colours, lines and textures made out of Model Magic.



Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour composition contrast line non-objective design overlapping shape texture


Crayola Model Magic - Assorted Colours Crayola Scissors Geometric Shape Tracers Garlic Presses Toothpicks Mat Board or Masonite Board - 15 cm x 15 cm (6" x 6") - 1 per student

Shop Crayola Products


ELEMENTS CHALLENGE – Colour, Texture, Line, Shape - Step One

Step One

  1. Think of 3 challenges for each element and fill out the Challenges Form. (Downloads - ChallengesForm.pdf)
  2. Trace shapes onto the board to create a non-objective design.
  3. Overlap some of the shapes to create new shapes.
ELEMENTS CHALLENGE – Colour, Texture, Line, Shape - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Use Model Magic to fill in each of the shapes to complete your challenges.
  2. Repeat colours, textures, and lines to move the eye through the composition.
  3. Use contrast to make the shapes stand out.
  4. As you work remember to check to see if you are meeting all of your challenges.
ELEMENTS CHALLENGE – Colour, Texture, Line, Shape - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Explain how you met the challenges in your design.
ELEMENTS CHALLENGE – Colour, Texture, Line, Shape - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Allow the design to dry for 2 days.
  2. View your design with fresh eyes.
    - What do you like best about it? Why?
    - What areas draw your attention the most? Why?
    - How does your eye move through the composition? Why?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • challenge themselves to create a non-objective design;
  • use Model Magic to mix new colours and create lines, shapes and textures;
  • recognize and use the principle of contrast in a composition;
  • recognize and use the elements of colour, texture, shape and line in a composition;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creative thinking; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


​Have students:

  • use their completed square as inspiration for a story in which they shrink to a tiny person and land on the square;
  • describe their adventures as they travel through this unknown and strange land;
  • glue a raised piece of clear acetate on top of their square;
  • use a permanent marker to mark the path followed in the story with a broken line;
  • work collaboratively to place their completed designs into a class quilt;
  • place their stories around the quilt;
  • create and display written prompts alongside the quilt to encourage viewers to guess which story goes with which square.


  1. Purchase flawed mat board (or ask picture framers for donations) and cut to size - 1 per student.
  2. OR purchase masonite and have it cut to size - 1 per student.
  3. Download and display the Elements and Principles posters available on this website.
  4. Prior to this lesson review or teach the elements of line, shape, colour and texture, and the principle of contrast.
  5. Download several images of non-objective art from the Internet. For example,
  6. Download and copy the Challenge form - 1 per student. (Downloads - ChallengeForm.pdf) 
  7. Cut out or have students cut out cardboard tracers of geometric shapes - enough for groups of students to share. 


  1. Ask students to share what they know about the elements of line, shape, colour and texture.
  2. Write and illustrate their responses on a piece of chart paper.
  3. View and discuss several images of non-objective art focussing on:
    - how the artist has used shapes, colours and lines to create the work;
    - areas of strong contrast and how it is created;
    - how the placement of colours, lines and shapes help move the eye through the composition.
  4. Demonstrate various ways to work with Model Magic.
    - mix 2 primary colours together by kneading them with your fingers;
    - mix a very small amount of a colour with white to make a tint;
    - flatten a small ball and press it onto the foam core board to make it stick;
    - flatten a small ball by rolling it with the barrell of a marker;
    - cut a flattened piece with scissors;
    - squeesze a small piece through a garlic press;
    - poke a shape with a toothpick or other object. 
  5. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Challenge yourself to create a design using shapes, mixed colours, lines and textures made out of Model Magic.
  2. Use contrast to draw attention to parts of your composition.
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creative thinking.
  4. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a non-objective design out of Model Magic

    - mixed new colours
    - created different kinds of lines
    - created different textures
    - created different shapes
    - used lines, textures and colours to move the eye through the composition
    - used contrast to make some shapes stand out
    - kept my work in good condition
  3. Demonstrate how to overlap shapes to create new shapes.
  4. Encourage students to repeat the same colour or texture in three different places not too close to each other on the design as they fill in the shapes. This will help balance the composition and move the eye through the picture plane.
  5. Demonstrate how to press the Model Magic onto the surface of the board so it really sticks.
  6. Observe students as they work.
  7. After students have been working for about 15 minutes remind them to check to see how they are meeting their challenges.
  8. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Ask students to work with a partner.
  2. Have tthem take turns discussing the completed works. Encourage them to find:
    3 things that interest them about how the work was made;
    what the artist found challenging;
    what the artist thought was easy; and
    how the artist felt about making this project and why.
  3. Once everyone has had a chance to share ask students to report back to the whole class. Remind students tell what they learned about their partner’s work/process.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their designs – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the design, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use the checklist to track progress. (Downloads - ELEMENTS_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students complete the self-assessment portion of their challenge form. (Downloads - ChallengeForm.pdf)