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Magnificent Merlion of Singapore

What do you get when you combine a lion head with a fish tail? The Magnificent Merlion, a famous landmark in Singapore.

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

    1. Oganize students into small groups. Invite them to research information about the Singapore, such as the geography, climate, landforms, people, and/or what it is like to live there. Encourage each group to also find Internet pictures of the Merlin or Merlion statue of Singapore. What significance does this landmark have to Singapore, its people and culture?
    2. Student groups organize research information into a presentation for classmates. Once presentations are complete, invite all students to create a model of the Merlion statue. In preparation for this activity, have students cover their work areas with recycled newspaper.
    3. Distribute white Crayola® Model Magic® to students. Students can create a light color for their models in one of two ways: knead the modeling material with color from a Crayola Washable Marker or blend white with another color of Model Magic.
    4. Using their colored Model Magic, students sculpt a replica of the Merlion statue with the body of a fish and head of a lion. Encourage students to use their Internet photographs of the landmark in order to make their replicas as close to the original as possible. Allow to air-dry overnight.
    5. In preparation for creating the bottom of the statue, students mix Model Magic with blue and purple marker colors. Shape into waves on the bottom of the statue. Attach the statue with Crayola School Glue to the top of a small recycled box that resembles a pedestal. Cover the box with Model Magic. Dry overnight.
    6. While completed sculptured are drying, ask students to write a summary paragraph of their learning about Singapore. Provide students with an opportunity to word process their finished writing. Post writing with student sculptures in a public place for peers and parents to enjoy.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

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

    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

    Students research the four major cultures of the people of Singapore (Chinese, Malay, Indian, and European). Compare and contrast the cultures. Students contemplate how these varying people live together in harmony.

    Working in small groups, students gather facts about their community and/or school. Using research, students determine the best symbol to represent them. Design the symbol, including ornamentation.

    Students interview parents and other family members to investigate their ethnic backgrounds. What symbols do you find during this representation? How are these related to the ethnicities?


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