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Stained Glass Ornaments

Update an ancient craft with contemporary designs and art materials. These holiday ornaments are light and unbreakable, and they're great for holidays or any day!

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

    1. Stained glass is a centuries-old method of putting together many pieces of colored glass to form a picture. The glass is held together with lead beading that forms a black outline around each section. Which famous artists are known for their stained glass? Invite students to research artists that have created well-known pieces of stained glass artwork.
    2. Once students research is complete, invite children to capture the beauty of this ancient craft using modern materials. Ask students about an upcoming holiday and what symbols are typically associated with that holiday. They might show fall with a leaf, Chanukah with a dreidel, or Valentine’s Day with a heart. Students select the symbols they want to recreate in stained-glass ornaments.
    3. Students use Crayola® Model Magic for their stained glass artwork. To create their own colors of Crayola Model Magic, students rub color from a Crayola Washable Marker onto white Model Magic. Demonstrate how to mix it a little bit for a marbled effect. Children knead the Model Magic well and add more marker color until they achieve the uniform shade desired. Then shape the modeling compound into holiday symbols.
    4. To add to the stained-glass look, students draw directly on the symbol with markers. If the artwork is to be made into an ornament, children will poke a small hole in the top of the artwork and attach ribbon or yarn for hanging.
    5. Accents can be added to the ornaments with Crayola Glitter Glue. Air-dry before giving them as gifts or hanging.
    6. Invite students to share their artwork with small groups of classmates. Encourage them to share how they incorporated their new learning about stained glass artwork into their ornaments.
  • Standards

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

    LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Record measurement equivalents in a two column table.

    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: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    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: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

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

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    Invite a local artisan to that works primarily with stained glass to visit with the class and share his expertise with the group. Prior to the visit, students compose questions for the guest. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.

    Encourage groups of students to use Crayola Window Crayons or Window Markers to create a colorful stained glass designed on a classroom or school building window.

    While researching various holiday symbols, students create game cards on 3 x 5 index cards. On one side of the card, students illustrate the symbols of various seasons and holidays. The opposite side of the card should contain a brief description of the symbol and the holiday celebration it is connected to. Once completed, the index cards are collected into a deck for playing. The class should collaborate to write rules for playing the card game and include them in the deck.


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