WORD WANDS – Exploring Shapes, Texture, Pattern

Children use Model Magic, a variety of decorative materials and a paint stir stick to create a Word Wand they can use to explore words and letters in the classroom.

Required Time

60 Minutes

Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 1


Language Arts
Visual Arts


capital letters explore lower case letters rhyming words search upper case letters


Crayola Model Magic - Assorted Colours Paint Stir Stciks Pipe Cleaners Buttons and Beads Cookie Cutters Rhinestones Googly Eyes

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WORD WANDS – Exploring Shapes, Texture, Pattern - Step One

Step One

  1. Gather a variety of materials.
  2. Place everything in the centre of a table for easy access.
WORD WANDS – Exploring Shapes, Texture, Pattern - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Create a ball-like shape of Model Magic, or use a cookie cutter. 
  2. Press the ball onto to a paint stir stick.
  3. Make sure the stick goes all the way to the top of the Model Magic shape, and that the shape is firmly stuck to the stick. 
  4. For cookie cutters, place one cut-out shape on one side of the stir stick and another on the other side so they attach firmly, and the stick is sandwiched inside the two Model Magic shapes.   


WORD WANDS – Exploring Shapes, Texture, Pattern - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use different colours of Model Magic to decorate the wand.
  2. Push pipe cleaners, jewels, buttons and beads into the Model Magic to make them stick.
  3. Create patterns and 1 long pointer. 
  4. Allow the Model Magic to dry for 72 hours.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • work independently and self-regulate;
  • share their ideas with peers; 
  • explore colour, shape and texture.


Reading Centre - Have students:

  • read a variety of alphabet and letter books;
  • go on a hunt around the class for letters and words they found in the books 

Writing Centre - Have students:

  • keep lists of the words they find;
  • share their lists with others.


  1. Collect paint stir sticks - enough for each student to have 1. 
  2. Gather a variety of decorative materials such as pipe cleaners, buttons, beads, jewels. 
  3. Place all the decorative materials in the centre of a table for easy access.


  1. Look around the room and go on a word hunt as a class using a plain paint stir stick to point to words or letters. 
    - look for words that begin with the letter of the week, the letter of their first name or for words that rhyme
  2. Introduce the idea of creating a word wand - something special to hunt for words
  3. Have a class discussion about what materials you might want to use to create the word wand. 
  4. Introduce Model Magic and ways to manipulate it.  
  5. Talk about primary colours and how you can create secondary colours.
  6. Create secondary colours together using the Model Magic.
    - Red + Blue = Violet
    - Red + Yellow = Orange
    - Yellow + Blue = Green 
  7. Show how beads and things can be pushed into the Model Magic.
  8. Introduce the challenge. 


The Challenge

  1. Use your imagination and problem-solving skills to create your own unique word wand.

The Process

  1. Demonstrate how to create a shape with a cookie cutter and how to attach it to the stick.
  2. Repeat this process with a small ball shape.
  3. Think out loud as you start to add decorative materials to the Model Magic. Encourage children guide you as you make choices.
  4. Invite children to make their own word wand.
  5. Allow the wand to dry for 72 hours.
    - Model Magic will remain soft and pliable until it dries so the wand will get damaged if children start to use it immediately.
  6. Teacher Prompts/Making Connections
    What does the Model Magic feel like?
    I see you have the colour green on your wand. How did you make the colour green?
    What details did you add to your word wand?  Why?
    What do you like best about your wand?
  7. After the Wands Have Dried 
    - Would you like to go on a word hunt with your wand? 
    - Look for all the words in the room that begin with the first letter of your name “H”. 
    - You can even take a mini clipboard and write down the words that you find. ”I can’t wait to see how many words you find!”
    Why do you think the word Conner has a capital?


  1. Gather students to view and discuss their wands. Ask students to share:
    what they learned about using Model Magic
    - what they like best about their wands
    - what makes their wand unique
  2. Invite children to ask questions of the presenter.
  3. Have children share the list of words they found. 


  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 artwork 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 - WordWand_tracking.pdf)