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Exaggerated Expressions

Respond to literature by creating soft sculpture portraits depicting strong emotions.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Students read or write poetry, a play, story, or historical account in which a character displays a strong emotion. Students look in a mirror to try to duplicate this emotion with their own facial expression. Notice how a person's features-eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, forehead-look when you imitate the emotion.
    2. With Crayola® Colored Pencils, sketch a large real, imaginary, or animal body from the work you read on oak tag. Use Crayola Multicultural Crayons and Markers to show skin tones. Add details and create a background that relates to the figure with Crayola Crayons and Markers. Fill the paper with patterns and textures. Use black marker to outline important parts.
    3. To make a soft sculpture face, use about 5 inches (15 cm) at the toe of a pair of clean, recycled pantyhose. Fill with synthetic fiber stuffing. Knot opening of the pantyhose to keep stuffing inside.
    4. Cut thread with Crayola Scissors. Thread a needle, knot the ends, and stitch through the pantyhose and stuffing to create exaggerated facial features. The face will emerge when sewing. For eyes, push the stuffing down and stitch in an oval. For a nose, pinch and make small stitches back and forth. For nostrils, stitch one opening at a time in a circle. To create a lower lip, pinch a small amount of fiber and stitch up and down. Repeat for an upper lip.
    5. Pull the opening of the pantyhose to the back of the head and stitch closed. Stitch yarn to the head to create hair and cover the stitched area.
    6. Use Crayola School Glue to attach the head to the paper body, and to attach recycled jewelry, buttons for eyes, chenille sticks, and other adornments.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Engage effectively 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: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    In small groups, students identify a variety of emotions that they have experienced. Students list their suggestions on chart paper and define each using their own words. Students select one or two emotions to exaggerate in their story. Once selected, students begin to outline their original story being certain to incorporate selected emotional responses as they develop their characters. Students write a draft of their story and significant scenes.

    Using their original stories, students take on the roles of their characters and prepare to present the story as a play. Students may do a live presentation to classmates or videotape their performance and upload their video to a class computer for future viewing.


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