MOSAIC MAGIC – Colour, Shape and Space

Students paint recycled bottle lids and use them to create a mosaic. 

Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 3


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour contrast mosaic negative space positive space shape


Crayola Washable Project Paint - 6 Count Crayola Paintbrushes - 5 Count Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Watercolour Paint - 24 Count Crayola Washable No-Run School Glue Crayola Construction Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.9 cm (9" x 12") Canvas Board - 20.3 cm x 25.4 cm (8" x 10") - 1 per student Pencils Recycled Bottle Lids

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MOSAIC MAGIC – Colour, Shape and Space - Step One

Step One

  1. Make a few sketches of different ideas.
  2. Choose the one you like the best.
MOSAIC MAGIC – Colour, Shape and Space - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Paint the lids.
  2. Use a variety of colours that suit your design.
  3. Set the lids aside to dry.
MOSAIC MAGIC – Colour, Shape and Space - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use watercolour paints to cover the canvas board with colours that go well with your mosaic design.
MOSAIC MAGIC – Colour, Shape and Space - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Use Crayola Washable Glue to attach the lids to the dry canvas.
  2. Make several layers of lids to add depth to the mosaic. 
MOSAIC MAGIC – Colour, Shape and Space - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Glue the completed mosaic onto a piece of black construction paper.
  2. View your work with fresh eyes.
    - Why did you choose this design?
    - How is your work similar to someone else's?
    - How is it different?
    - What do you like best about your work? Why?


Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a mosaic;
  • identify positive and negative space;
  • use contrasting colours to add emphasis;
  • work independently and self-regulate; 
  • demonstrate a sense of accomplishment.


​Have students:

  • go on a nature walk to collect pebbles and small natural objects such as acorns;
  • use these natural objects to make a mosaic by pressing them into air dry clay;
  • write a song or poem inspired by their mosaic;
  • share their work with the class.


  1. Prior to the lesson have students explore math pattern blocks using pattern sheets.
  2. Ask students to bring in water bottle lids - about 50 per student.
  3. Collect and display posters and books with images of mosaic art.  
  4. Download images of mosaic art from the Internet, for example, 
    Bottlecap Mosaic
    Cat Mosaic
    Cuban Building
  5. Preview the video Mosaic Tiles | Arty History.
  6. If possible, go on nature walk to look at flowers in your environment. 
  7. Have students make sketches of the flowers they see.
  8. Talk about the colours, patterns and size of the flowers.
  9. Have students choose a flower for their mosaic.
    - Have students who missed the nature walk choose a flower picture from a book for their mosaic.


  1. View and discuss the images of mosaic art. 
    - Ask students to think about how the art was made.
    - Ask them to tell you what they see that gives them that idea.
  2. Ask students where they have seen mosaics in their home or community, e.g., kitchen backsplashes, garden stones, decorative bowls.
  3. View the Mosaic Tiles | Arty History video or explain the process of making a mosaic.
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a mosaic flower using water bottle lids.
  2. Use similar amounts of positive and negative space in your design.
  3. Use contrasting colours to draw attention to some parts of the mosaic.
  4. Share your ideas with others.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a mosaic of a flower
    - used my own ideas to create the mosaic
    - used contrasting colours to draw attention to some parts of the mosaic
    - used similar amounts of positive and negative space in my design

    - kept the work in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps in this project.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. From time to time ask students to stop and view their work from a distance so they can see it with fresh eyes.
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into groups of 3 or 4 and ask them to share their mosaics with each other. Ask students to share the following:
    Why did you choose that flower?
    - What do you like about someone else's work? Why?
    - What other materials could you use to make a mosaic picture? (sticks, broken crayon pieces, glue stick lids, stones. etc.)
  2. Display all the mosaics in the classroom.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their mosaics – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the mosaic, 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 a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Mosaic_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have grade 1 - 3 students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Mosaic_self-assessment.pdf)