Students draw several characters with marker and crayons, stick them to a photo-magnet sheet, cut them out and use them for telling stories.

Required Time

40 Minutes

Grade Level

Kindergarten to Grade 3


Language Arts
Visual Arts
Media Literacy


character colour line shape


Crayola Markers Crayola Crayons Crayola Scissors Crayola Drawing Paper - 7.5 cm x 15 cm (3"x 6") - 3 per student Photo-Magnet Sheets - 15 cm x 22.8 cm (6"x 9") - 1 per student

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STORY CHARACTER MAGNETS – Shape, Line, Colour - Step One

Step One

  1. Use a marker to draw your characters on small pieces of paper 7.5 cm x 15 cm.
  2. Make them fill the page.
  3. Make 3 characters altogether.
STORY CHARACTER MAGNETS – Shape, Line, Colour - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Use crayons to colour the pictures.
  2. Press hard with the crayon to make the colours bright and strong.
STORY CHARACTER MAGNETS – Shape, Line, Colour - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Peel the adhesive backing from the photo-magnet sheet.
  2. Stick the drawing to the photo-magnet sheet.
  3. Repeat this for each of your drawings.
STORY CHARACTER MAGNETS – Shape, Line, Colour - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Cut around the outer edges of the drawing.
STORY CHARACTER MAGNETS – Shape, Line, Colour - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Use your magnets to help tell some stories.
  2. Work with a partner to share your characters and make a story together.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • draw several story characters with lots of details;
  • attach the drawings to a photo-magnet sheet:
  • cut out the magnets;
  • work independently and self-regulate;
  • use their magnets to help tell a story; 
  • demonstrate a sense of accomplishment.


Have children:

  • work with a partner to play with the magnets and make up different stories;
  • record a story, including sound effects;
  • play their recording as they act out the story with their magnets;
  • practice presenting their story as they manipulate the magnets;
  • share their stories with their peers.


  1. Gather, and make available a variety of picture books, for example, I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen; I Hate My Cats (A Love Story), by Davide Cali, and Anna Pirolli; The Perfect Pet , by Margie Palatini; I Wanna Iguana, by Karen Kaufman Orloff; Ralph Tells a Story, by Abby Hanlon; Idea Jar, by Adam Lehrhaupt, and Deb Pilutti; and Inside My Imagination, by Marta Arteaga, Zuzanna Celej, and Jon Brokenbrow. 
  2. Set up a magnet centre with markers; paper 7.5 cm x 15 cm; photo-magnet sheets; and scissors
  3. Provide time for students to make up their own stories about things that interest them. 


  1. Conduct a read aloud with a story such as The Perfect Pet, by Margie Palatini.
  2. Discuss who the main characters are in the story and how the artist has added details to show what they are like.
  3. Ask students to think about a story they want to tell.
    - Who are the main characters in your story?
    - What do they look like?
    - What details will you need to include to show what they are like?
    - Who is the biggest character in your story?
    - Who is the smallest? 
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Use your own ideas to make story character magnets.
  2. Add lots of details to each character.
  3. Use your magnets to help tell a story.
  4. Share your ideas with others.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

The Process

  1. Ensure that students understand the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I:
    - use my own ideas to draw my characters
    - add details to my characters
    - stick my drawings to the magnet sheet
    - cut out my magnets
    - tell a story with my magnets

    - explain how I made my magnets
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in the lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Gather students to view and discuss their art. Ask students to share:
    - their magnets pointing out details
    - who the main characters are in their story
    - what they like best about their magnets
  2. Provide time for students to work in small groups using their magnets to help tell their stories.
  3. Have some students share their stories with the whole class.
  4. Display all the magnets in a row on a magnetic board in the classroom.
  5. Provide time for students to use markers to gradually add background details behind the row of magnets to create a scene.
  6. Encourage students to view the scene and make up different stories to go with it.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their artworks – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, holds magnet to the side, 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 - Magnets_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Magnets_self-assessment)