Be Brain Smart


Does animal brain size match body size? Affect intelligence? Sculpt the brains of three vertebrates to compare and contrast their structure and size.


1. Your brain controls every movement and thought you have. Your brain is always working, whether you’re asleep or awake!

2. Find facts about the brains of humans and two other vertebrates. You’ll find that all brains have two hemispheres, distinct structures, and are attached to a spinal cord. Among the differences you may find are that size and cortical folding varies among species.

3. Do you think brain size is linked to animal size or intelligence? Discuss this with your classmates, who may have researched other animals. Make a chart of the similarities and differences you discovered using Crayola® Multicultural Markers.

4. Mix white Model Magic with color from Washable Multicultural Markers. Sculpt three different vertebrate brains.

5. Sculpt all three brains to scale and to show details. Air-dry them at least 24 hours.

6. Add more color to highlight the folds in your brain models.

7. Label each brain with details such as the name of the animal, typical brain size/weight and adult animal weight, and the relative intelligence of each creature.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.


  • Display all of the brain models. Compare and contrast the different brains. Arrange them from most to least intellegent animal.
  • Diagram cut-away view of a human brain. Label each part and explain what that part of the brain does.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Multicultural Markers
  • Model Magic®
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • chart paper



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children research details about the brains of three different vertebrates.

  • Children compare and contrast brain sizes of different vertebrates and discuss the link between brain size, intelligence, and animal size.

  • Children sculpt and label three realistic scale models of different brains.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards