Fascinating Fortress: Machu Picchu


Climb 3,000 steps to take a close look at Peru’s lost city of Machu Picchu. Explore an ancient, fascinating Incan fortress city.


1. Machu Picchu is located high in the Peruvian Andes, near Cuzco, overlooking the Urubamba River. The city was created sometime before 1500 by the Incas and is still revered as a sacred site. Machu Picchu is visited by thousands of people each year who admire its beauty and location.

2. The city was constructed of blocks of cut stone. Research the ruins of Machu Picchu and the Inca people to find out why Machu Picchu is called "The Lost City of the Incas." Look closely at photographs.

3. Cover your art area with newspaper. Use Crayola® Tempera Paint and a brush to paint your impression of Machu Picchu. Look closely at the stone’s colors, hovering clouds, and surrounding mountainous landscape. Mix colors to match the hues you see. Blend your paints with a damp brush to achieve soft edges. Use a dry-brush technique (layer flecks of paint from a brush that is nearly dry) to show rock textures. Air-dry your painting.

4. Display your work with a report that you write about this remarkable site, which is one of the Forgotten Wonders of the world.

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.


  • Research Incan art forms. Create examples and display them with your report and painting. Write a fictional story about your ideas of how the city was built and why the Incas left Machu Picchu.
  • Assessment: Evaluate the accuracy and detail of both the painting and written report.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Paint Brushes
  • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
  • Giant Marker and Watercolor Pad
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels
  • container(s) of water



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children research information about the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.

  • Children closely examine pictures of the construction of Machu Picchu.

  • Children create paintings and write reports to demonstrate their knowledge of the history, location, significance, and grandeur of Machu Picchu.


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