THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture

Students create a 3-dimensional hanging picture using Model Magic on foam core board.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Kindergarten to Grade 6


Social Studies
Visual Arts


3-dimensional balance bas relief composition contrast detail


Foam Core Board 10 cm x 12.7 cm (4" x 5") Crayola Washable Glue Ribbon Crayola Model Magic Tooth Picks


THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step One

Step One

Trace the piece of foam core board on a piece of paper 4 times for your planning sketches.

THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Two

Step Two

Explore a few different ideas for your picture. Make sure you organize the space so it is balanced and the design has lots of details to make it interesting. Choose the idea you like the best.

THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Three

Step Three

Use Model Magic to create your picture. Press it onto the foam core board to make it stick.

THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Four

Step Four

You may need to use a small amount of Crayola Washable Glue to attach Model Magic to the sides of the foam core board. 

THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Five

Step Five

Add glitter glue to give it extra sparkle. Allow the picture to dry for 2 days. 

THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Six

Step Six

Glue a ribbon to the back of the foam core board so you can hang the picture. 

THE PERFECT GIFT – Model Magic Hanging Picture - Step Seven

Step Seven

Give your hanging picture to someone special.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Create a bas relief scene using Model Magic;
  2. Use contrast and detail to add interest to their work;
  3. Create a balanced composition;
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment; and
  5. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.


  1. Have students decorate an envelope to place their hanging picture in, and then make a small gift card to go with it. Encourage them to share what happened when they gave their picture as a gift.
  2. Have students teach students in a lower grade how to make a Model Magic hanging picture.


  1. Prior to the lesson have students brainstorm occasions for gift giving.
  2. Gather and display a variety of picture books about celebrations such as, I'm in Charge of Celebrations, by Byrd Baylor, Twelve Days of Christmas, by Lesley Sims, The Trees of the Dancing Goats, by Patricia Polacco, Some Birthday!, by Patricia Polacco, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors, by Hena Khan


  1. Discuss special occasions/celebrations with students such as winter holidays, birthdays, summer holidays, and religious holidays.
  2. Have students look at a variety of images related to celebrations.
  3. Ask students to come up with four ideas for their hanging picture.
  4. Discuss the difference between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional. Introduce the term bas relief.
  5. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a bas relief scene using Model Magic.
  2. Use contrast and lots of detail to make your work interesting.
  3. Create a balanced composition.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Demonstrate how to trace their piece of foam core board 4 times on a sheet of paper.
  2. Make sure everyone understands the challenge. Encourage students to think of details that will make their scene effective.
  3. Demonstrate how to roll, cut and poke Model Magic, asking students to share their ideas about how to work with it.
  4. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  5. Observe students as they work.
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement as they work.


  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to discuss the scenes and encourage them to support their ideas with evidence they find in the works.
    - Compare your scenes and describe to each other what you did to get certain effects.
    - Talk about the things you think make the scenes effective.
    - Talk about what was difficult to do and what was easy for you to do.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.


  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 - SCENE_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Download - SCENE_self-assessment.pdf or SCENE_PRIMARY.pdf)