Looking Inside the Earth


Build a model of the earth's crust with Crayola® Model Magic®.


1. Find out how the earth's layers tell the story of any part of the planet, from millions of years ago until today. Explore how sedimentary rock was created, and how land is built up and eroded by water or ice, in a process of constant change.

2. Use Crayola Model Magic to form a cross-section sculpture that demonstrates knowledge of the relationship between water and land. To create a hollow model, use a cardboard base and form the Model Magic around a support such as a drinking straw or twig. Include features both above and below ground.

3. Some possibilities to create: Simulate rock pieces that were pressed into layers of solid rock. Embed small fossils. Demonstrate the effects of erosion and weathering on the surface. Depict underground rivers and lakes. Create underground caves to show the effects of water on limestone. Show how dripping water leaves deposits of calcium carbonate, forming stalactites and stalagmites. Dry overnight.

4. Cover the work area with recycled newspaper. Paint the model using Crayola Washable Watercolors and Watercolor Brushes.

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.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.


  • Visit a cave and go spelunking or tour a local quarry. Or have a spelunker visit, show photographs, demonstrate equipment, and describe exciting caving experiences.
  • Visit a construction site that is being excavated. Look at the layers of soil and rocks. Sketch the layers. Research local history and study topographic maps. Write and illustrate an underground history of the community.
  • Study fossils of plants and animals. Make fossil replicas with crayon rubbings or Crayola Model Magic impressions of objects.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Washable Watercolors
  • Watercolor Brushes with Plastic Handle
  • Model Magic®
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels
  • cardboard
  • container(s) of water
  • plastic drinking straws



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children add to their understanding of sedimentary rock strata beneath the earth's surface.

  • Students demonstrate their knowledge by creating a 3-dimensional model of the earth's crust.


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