Castles With Character


Is it a setting for a Medieval play, contemporary mystery, or royal family? This castle comes complete with finger puppets for storytelling.


1. Independently read fiction set in and around castles. Meet in groups to discuss the books you and your classmates are reading. Compare and contrast settings, plots, and characters. Share titles and authors for future reading. Research information about castle architecture.

2. Build an authentic or imaginative castle using colored Crayola® Model Magic. Smooth Model Magic over plastic bottles and cardboard tubes to make a large castle form. Knead two colors of Model Magic together with hands for a marbled effect. Flatten the modeling material with hands. Use Crayola Scissors to cut shapes for windows, doors, and a shingled roof. Firmly press pieces onto castle form. Embed small beads and other decorative items as desired. Dry.

3. Construct finger puppets of the main characters by smoothing Model Magic over your finger. Remove your finger and allow the modeling material to stiffen slightly. Add more modeling compound to create features, clothing, and hair. Embed decorative items as desired. Dry.

4. Meet with book groups again to retell your stories to each other with your castles and finger puppets.

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.

Recycled Containers—Must be clean and safe. Do not use containers that contained bleach or other harmful chemicals (for example, household cleaners, dishwasher or laundry detergents). Do not use recycled metal cans that have sharp edges (for example, lids removed by household can openers).

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.


  • Book groups read independently and discuss the same book. Meet after reading each chapter (or several chapters) to discuss predictions for the next chapter. Each book group works cooperatively to build a castle and set of characters. Book groups retell finger puppet stories, with each student taking a part.
  • Meet with individual children to listen to story retellings. Encourage students to use castles and finger puppets in their retellings. Ask probing questions about characters, setting, plot, and castle architecture. Informally assess student ability to read, understand, and represent texts based on retellings.
  • Write original stories using castles and characters. Be sure to include details about the imagined castle interior and about the characters' personalities. Meet with book groups again to share castles, finger puppets, and stories.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Model Magic®
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • decorative craft items
  • recycled plastic containers



  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students read historic or contemporary fiction that is set in and around castles.

  • Students build castles and characters to use in retelling stories, demonstrating their understanding of fiction texts and period architecture.

  • Students write their own narrative fiction, including detailed descriptions of the characters and castle setting.


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