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Hamsa Wall Hanging

Magic charms such as the hamsa are based on ancient cultural traditions. Create a replica of this amulet, which has its roots in both Judaism and Islam.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Students research the meaning of a hamsa and find pictures of this amulet. A hamsa, or Middle Eastern hand-shaped amulet is supposed to give positive energy, happiness, riches, and health to its owner. It is a common symbol in both Islam and Judaism.
    2. To make a replica of this traditional amulet, students draw a large hand shape on construction paper using Crayola® Colored Pencils. Students decorate their hamsa with authentic, creative designs representing Islam and/or Judaism using Crayola Gel Markers and Crayola Glitter Glue. Dry.
    3. Attach craft gems to the amulet with Crayola School Glue. Dry.
    4. Cut out the hamsa with Crayola Scissors. Trace the hamsa on thin cardboard and cut it out. Glue the cardboard to the back of your hamsa. Dry.
    5. Punch two holes near the top of the wall hanging. Run ribbon or yarn through the holes and tie to form a loop for hanging.
  • 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: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    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.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    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.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resource: The Hamsa by E.S. Kraay

    In small groups, students research and discuss examples of hamsa and appropriate symbolism. Students make a list of new learning to share in a whole class setting.

    Students re-create their hamsa in the form of a necklace, key chain, or pin using Crayola Model Magic.

    In small groups, students investigate superstitions and how groups of people counteract these superstitions. For example, if you spill salt, you are encouraged to throw some of the spilled salt over your left shoulder - for luck!

    Students, working in teams of two, investigate the connection between the Hamsa and the Olympic Games. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.


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