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Discover the ancient art form of mosaics—with a contemporary twist! Layer and mix Crayola® Model Magic to create unique, detailed sculptures.
A mosaic is an art form made with small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. Individual pieces are called tesserae. They fit together to form a design, which is set in mortar. Mosaics can decorate ceilings, floors, walls, sidewalks, and furniture. People of many cultures have used mosaic art. Mosaics appeared as early as 3000 BCE and became widespread during 300 BCE in cities ruled by Greece. In the 6th century, mosaics were a popular art form in the Byzantine Empire. Islamic people of India and Persia, the Aztec and Mayan Indians, and Mexicans in modern times have all created mosaic art.
Organize students into small groups. Challenge groups to research the history of mosaic art and find examples of each of the types of mosaics, ancient and modern. Students organize their research into presentations for classmates. All students should be prepared to discuss photographs of mosaics, ancient and modern, as well as how mosaic art has changed over time.
Once presentations are complete, students prepare to create tesserae for their own mosaics. Begin by pressing thin layers of different colors of Model Magic together into strips. Blend primary colors, or add white, to make new hues. For a marbled effect, slightly twist and knead colored layers together. Solid-color tesseraes can also be created. Encourage students to use their imaginations to try different techniques to mix, layer, and imprint the modeling material. Cut strips into tiny pieces with Crayola Scissors. Air-dry tesseraes overnight.
Students place tesserae in a design on foam board. Try laying some flat. Turn others on their sides or stand them up to add height. Exchange tesserae with classmates for more variety. Experiment with designs to find one that are aesthetically pleasing.
Students attach mosaic pieces with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry design before displaying them.
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