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Explore the ancient artwork of Moroccan culture! Design a mosaic, called a zillij, full of brightly colored, recycled Model Magic tiles!
Mosaic art is created by arranging various colors of tiles, made from stone, clay, or glass, to form a picture. This form of artwork has been around for centuries, and can be found in almost every culture. Moroccan mosaics are unique in that they are primarily geometrical, reflecting intricate designs and patterns. This decorative style is called "zillij" and uses specially shaped tiles that fit tightly together to create the mosaic designs.
Students research this art form and find some examples of zillij mosaic art. Where were these mosaics displayed? How are they used today? Organize text and electronic resources for students to use while researching. Provide a time for children to share their learning with classmates.
Inform students, working in teams of two, that they will be creating tiles for a class mosaic. Use leftover Crayola Model Magic® from other projects to create tiles. Simply cut extra pieces of Model Magic into smaller pieces of various sizes. If leftover Model Magic is still wet, lay flat to dry out before storing with the other tiles to prevent sticking. Model Magic that has been swirled or blended together will make great tiles, too!
Each team will design a zillij after sketching their design on paper with Crayola Color Sticks or Crayola Crayons. They may want to use a ruler to measure out geometric shapes and patterns.
Press out a sheet of fresh Model Magic to use as the backing for the tiles. Try to make it as flat as possible and no thicker than a pencil.
Using sketch as a guide, students lay out the Model Magic tiles to create the original zillij. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack will stick to itself. Dried pieces can be glued together with Crayola No-Run School Glue. Leave a tiny amount of space between each tile. Watch as the colors, shapes, and patterns come together to form an interesting design!
Lay the zillij flat and allow glue to air-dry.
While mosaics are drying, members of teams collaborate to write a summary paragraph of their learning about zillij mosaics. ENcourage students to include how they incorporated this learning into the creation of their original mosaics.
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