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Stunning 'Cloisonné' Gift Pendants

Make your very own jewelry to wear or give as a gift! Combine coils of Model Magic® modeling compound with Crayola Glitter Glue to look like cloisonné!

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to research jewelry from different time periods and cultures. For example, ancient Egyptians were very sophisticated in their jewelry making. Many artifacts from pharaohs’ tombs show intricate gold and silver metalsmithing and intricate inlays of small colorful stone and glass. Find out more about the Asian origins of Cloisonné, a type of enamel coating. How does jewelry reflect the culture of its people?
    2. When research is complete, students select a jewelry pendant to replicate. The shape and design for the pendants should reflect information gathered during research. Students will cover their work spaces with recycled newspaper. Provide a small Model Magic® ball for each student to begin his pendant. This can be gently pressed to flatten as a circle or oval and serve as the base for the pendant.
    3. Supply additional Model Magic to students. Instruct children to roll several coils of the compound, as equal in thickness as possible. Lay these coils on the base to begin your jewelry design. Leave small spaces between the coils. Wrap a coil around the outside edge of the base. This outline will hold the Glitter Glue in place (next step) so it should touch many or most of the coils. Add a small coil at the top to hang the pendant.
    4. Invite students to squeeze Crayola Glitter Glue into the spaces defined by the coils in their designs. Fill each area almost to the top of the coil. To swirl colors, gently use a toothpick to stir just a little. Add tiny Model Magic® bits if so desired to top off the design. Air-dry the pendants on a flat surface. Model Magic® dries to the touch overnight and dries completely in 2 to 3 days.
    5. String each pendant on a ribbon. Tape the ends together so it can be worn with pride!
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    MATH: Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.

    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: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

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

  • Adaptations

    Encourage students working in small groups to research historical examples of different jewelry-making methods. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    Students take a self-selected example of jewelry from another era and attempt to re-create it to wear in contemporary times. What will be kept the same? What will be altered?

    Invite a local jeweler to visit with the class and share his expertise. Prior to the meeting, students brainstorm questions for the expert. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.


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