Pony Crossing


Did the horses escape from a sunken ship? Could it have been pirates? Discover what happens on this annual pony drive, made famous in Misty of Chincoteague!


1. On the last Wednesday and Thursday in July, the oldest round-up in the United States takes place in Maryland and Virginia on Assateague Island. Local firefighters round up the horses that run wild on the barrier islands of the Assateague Island National Seashore and Wildlife Refuge. The ponies swim across the Assateague Channel for 1/2 mile (.4 km). They are driven down the main street of Chincoteague Island. Forty horses of this registered pedigree are sold as part of the carnival festivities.

2. These dramatic events inspired the beloved book Misty of Chincoteague as well as visits by thousands of visitors a year. Read the book. Learn more about the area’s history and the story of the horses and their desolate home. How do you think the pony penning is done today?

3. Imagine the striking images you would see during the pony crossing. What event would you like to show in a 3D replica? Here’s one idea to try, or you can choose another scene to show.

4. Mold horses’ heads with Crayola® Model Magic. Knead color from Crayola Washable Markers into white Model Magic to create colors. Sculpt eyes, ears, and nostrils. Add details such as manes with more Model Magic if you wish. Air-dry the heads.

5. Cover your art area with newspaper. On watercolor paper, paint the watery Assateague Channel with Crayola Watercolors and Watercolor Brushes. For a splashy look like horses swimming, wet the paper with clean water before you paint. Air-dry flat.

6. If you like, cut the horses’ manes from yarn with Crayola Scissors. Attach with Crayola School Glue.

7. To make a glaze to preserve your sculpture, mix equal parts of water and glue. Cover the Model Magic with the glaze. Glue the horses’ heads to the water scene. Air-dry flat.

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.

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.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.


  • Part I of Misty of Chincoteague is told from the horses’ perspective. Continue that voice by writing an account of your illustration from the animal’s perspective.
  • Debate the various theories about the origins of the Chincoteague and Assateague ponies. Did they come from a sunken Spanish ship? Pirates?
  • Identify other children’s or adult books that are tied closely to a specific place or event. What effect have the books had upon those places?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Multicultural Washable Markers
  • Washable Watercolors
  • Watercolor Brushes with Plastic Handle
  • Model Magic®
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Giant Marker and Watercolor Pad
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels
  • yarn (optional)
  • container(s) of water



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students learn about the traditional pony round-up on Assateague Island, Virginia.

  • Students read the classic book Misty of Chincoteague.

  • Students create a 3-dimensional illustration of the pony-penning events.


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