Bridge Builders


Build bridges and friendships! Plan and construct a bridge with this constructive lesson that’s inspired by a Maya Angelou book set in Paris.


1. Research bridges around the world and in your area. Look for the Parisian architecture (and friendship overtures) shown in Reneé Marie of France, for example. Identify oblique, arch, suspension, cable, and covered bridges. Locate them on maps.

2. Make half a bridge. With Crayola Markers, sketch your vision for one side of a bridge that includes a representation of or sign about: a. a fear you would like to overcome b. a favorite activity c. a favorite person or possession d. something you dislike

3. After your sketch is complete, use Crayola Model Magic and drinking straws (cut them with Crayola Scissors into any size you need) to construct your bridge half. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack sticks to itself.

4. Find a partner. Collaborate with a classmate to figure out how to connect the space between your bridge halves. Sketch the span first, erasing to make any needed changes. Be inventive and include one common bond that you have with your partner.

5. Create the span you designed. You may want to place your construction on cardboard for stability. Cut posterboard sections or signs and decorate them with markers. Place them on the bridge. Air-dry your bridge overnight.

6. With your partner, explain to your classmates each other’s bridge section and the common bonds you discovered during your construction.

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.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Assemble a class book incorporating photos of bridges, maps, and information about their designers.
  • Plan, set up, and act as docents at an art show for your school or community. Introduce your partner at the show.
  • Assessment: Observe the bridge-building process for completion as directed, creativity, and teamwork.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Markers
  • Model Magic®
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • posterboard
  • recycled cardboard
  • plastic drinking straws



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children explore world architecture while incorporating literature, math skills, the visual arts, and geography.

  • Students work in pairs to construct replica bridge portions and then span their sections using features about themselves as individuals and as a team.

  • Students connect with other students and develop new friendships.


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