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Diversity Word Basket

Work together to weave a multicolored basket with Crayola Model Magic® Naturals. Fill it with words that celebrate differences.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Early baskets found in Egypt have been carbon dated to be between 10,000 and 12,000 years old. This is earlier than the oldest pottery. Baskets can have both utilitarian and ceremonial uses. They are still used in many African countries to carry fruits, vegetables, and even water. Native cultures in North America use baskets for sacred rituals and celebrations. Baskets are made from a variety of natural fibers including woods, grasses, and animal bones and hides. Contemporary baskets can be made of shredded paper, plastics, and even telephone wire. They can be mass-produced or created as one-of-a-kind fine art objects.
    2. This basket is made of woven pieces of Crayola Model Magic® Naturals colors, making it a unique combination of weaving and pottery. The project is the most fun when created in groups of three. Estimate how much Model Magic compound each group will need to make a coiled basket.
    3. Each student chooses one of three natural colors (bisque, terra cotta, earthtone). Roll golf ball-sized pieces of each color into coils approximately 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 cm) long.
    4. In each group, attach three coil ends and begin braiding the coils one over the other, taking turns for each color. Braid the compound carefully, keeping the colors separate.
    5. After the braid is complete, start to coil one end around to make a tight, flat circle for the base of the basket. Continue making more braids as needed. Attach them end to end, turning the braids on their sides, to create the sides of the basket. Create a vessel that is a unique size and shape. Curve the braids in closer to create a smaller opening at the top of the basket.
    6. To make a lid, create another flat, braided coil. Curl a small piece of braid to make a handle. Air-dry the basket separately from the lid for 24 hours.
    7. Cut several small pieces of colorful paper. With Crayola Multicultural Markers, students write positive descriptive words unique to each person in the group. Fold the papers in half. Place them in the basket. Read them aloud to remind each other about how unique each person is.
  • Standards

    LA: Effectively engage in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing; spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

    MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Invite a professional basket weaver to speak with the class about basic weaving techniques. Prior to the visit, students compose questions for the guest. After the visit, students post learning to a class blog. If time permits, provide students with the opportunity to weave.

    Students investigate forms of pottery including pinch pots and pots thrown on a wheel. As part of the investigation, students create a model to share with classmates.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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