SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes

Students practice their mathematics skills to create a 3-dimensional Santa ornament using paper sculpture techniques.

Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 2 to Grade 6


Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


2-dimensional shape 3-dimensional shape cone ornament


Googly Eyes Ruler Crayola Washable Glue Red Pipe Cleaner Shish kebab Skewers Cotton Balls String Scissors Crayola Construction Paper

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SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step One

Step One

Wrap a piece of red 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm ((9" x 12") construction paper into a cone shape. Use Crayola Washable Glue to fasten the edge of the paper.

SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step Two

Step Two

Cut the bottom of the cone off at about the half way mark. Cut in a straight line. Save the left over paper for the hat.

SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step Three

Step Three

Measure a piece of white construction paper to make a rectangle 2.5 cm x 6 cm (1" x 2.4"). Cut it out and glue it around the top of the cone about 1.5 cm (1/2") from the top of the cone.  

SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step Four

Step Four

About halfway down the cone poke a wooden skewer through both sides of the paper. This will make holes so you can insert the arms.  

SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step Five

Step Five

Feed a pipe cleaner through the holes to make Santa's arms.

SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step Six

Step Six

Cut 8 - 10 pieces of white construction paper into .5 cm x 4 cm (.2" x 1.5") strips. Use the wooden skewer to roll the strips into curls for the hair and beard. 

SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step Seven

Step Seven

Glue the beard and hair onto Santa.

SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step Eight

Step Eight

Draw a tall, thin triangle with a 4 cm (1.5") base and about 8 cm (3") tall on a piece of the scrap red construction paper. This will be Santa's hat. Cut it out and glue in onto Santa. Fold the top of the hat over.

SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step Nine

Step Nine

Add details to Santa. Think about things you can add to make your Santa unique, for example, 
- googly eyes
- cotton ball trim​
- gloves
- buttons
- belt

SANTA ORNAMENT – 2-D and 3-D Shapes - Step Ten

Step Ten

Use a hole punch to make a hole through the top of the cone behind Santa's hat. Feed through string to make a hanger.

Learning Goals

  1. Create a cone shaped;
  2. Create with geometric and organic shapes;
  3. Explain their process; and
  4. Express opinions about the works.


  1. Have students find examples of the various shapes in their home. Provide time for them to share what they have found with each other.
  2. Give students the opportunity to create their own character ornaments and share them with the class.   


  1. Gather all materials listed under requirements.
  2. Display books about different winter celebrations in your class. For example, Santa's Big Night, by Lindsey Scott, Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg, The Night Before Christmas, by Charles Santore, The Story of Hanukkah, by David A. Adler, Latke, the Lucky Dog (Hanukkah), by Ellen Fischer, Maccabee!: The Story of Hanukkah, by Tilda Balsley,  Divali as I knew it in Trinidad, by Nalini Bissambhar - Sankar, Diwali: A Cultural Adventure, by Sana Sood, Diwali! (Amma, Tell Me About), by Bhakti Mathur, Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa, by Donna L. Washington, Together for Kwanzaa, by Juwanda G. Ford, Seven Days Of Kwanzaa, by Angela Shelf Medearis 



  1. Discuss winter celebrations with students. Encourage them to share their own experiences.
  2. List the ways winter celebrations are similar. For example, light (candles), gifts, special foods, gathering with family and friends, special symbols and colours.
  3. Have students look at a variety of images related to celebrations. Focus on the ways Santa Claus has been portrayed.
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a 3-dimensional cone out of construction paper.
  2. Measure and draw geometric shapes.
  3. Use the creative process to design a unique Santa with the cone as a base.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Ensure that all materials are readily available.
  2. Guide students through the steps outlined in the lesson plan.
  3. Observe students as they work.
  4. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - Compare their work and describe to each other what they did to get certain effects.
    - Talk about what they found difficult and what they found easy.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask them to tell how they felt about doing this project.
  5. Create a tree in the class using a fallen or pruned branch from outside. Display the ornaments on your classroom tree.


  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience. 
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Download - SANTA_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Download - SANTA_self-assessment.pdf)