Life-Like Replicas: Fish


Grab your gills and fluff your fins to make art based on science! Research a fish, gather photos, and model a fun, realistic wildlife replica.


1. Investigate a fish or other water creature that interests you. Gather lots of drawings and photographs so you can sculpt a realistic replica.

2. Create a Model Magic® base for the fish body, such as an elongated rectangle or oval. Bend it into any position you want!

3. What are the biggest body parts you need to add? A head, fins, and tail? Use the most realistic colors—or be imaginative! Smooth out the surface with your fingers or by gently rolling a marker over it.

4. Now add layers. Roll the modeling compound into different-sized coils for lines. Make small balls and gently press them on for circles. Look carefully at the pictures so you can add lots of interest and realism to your sculpture.

5. Complete the life-like look with Crayola Glitter Glue details. Build up textured scales! Model Magic® dries to the touch overnight and dries completely in 2 to 3 days.

6. Why not make a habitat for your creature to show its beneath-the-water home?

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.

Glitter Glue— WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD—Small parts. Not for children under 3 years. Not for use on skin.

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.


  • Students each sculpt a different creature. Display them in a group—or with a diorama of underwater habitats. Give the exhibition a fun name!
  • Focus on and research only endangered fish and animals. Invent strategies on how to correct their low numbers.
  • Create natural habitats for the creatures, such as dioramas in a shoebox.
  • Assessment: Students are successful if their finished sculptures include details as shown in their researched images.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Markers
  • Model Magic®
  • Glitter Glue



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


  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes


  • Students research a fish or other underwater animal that interests them.

  • Students compare and contrast the images they gather with the different stages of production of their sculptural model to create a life-like replica.

  • Students represent their chosen creature from 2-D images into 3-dimensional artwork.


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