What’s Along the Coast?


How does geography influence people and places? Discover how natural features such as coastlines shape architecture, jobs, and communities.


1. Do you think that geography influences culture? Being near a dominant feature such as water certainly does! In Greece, for example, you are at most only 85 miles (137 km) from the shore. Greece has more coastline than the entire mainland of the United States even though it is only as big as Florida. Greece has 9,333 miles (15,020 km) of coastline (including islands).

2. Learn more about Greece, such as the number of islands (437) and the percentage that are inhabited (50). Or choose another place along a coast to study. Find out whether there are sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, or other landforms near the water’s edge. What kinds of homes are built there? What jobs do people do? What size is the population?

3. Cover your art area with newspaper. Use Crayola® Watercolors and Watercolor Brushes to paint a cardboard base for the water. Air-dry the base.

4. Most of Greece (4/5ths) is covered with mountains. To build an armature for your sculpture, ball up newspaper and tape it to your base. Roll out realistic colors of Crayola Model Magic to cover the newspaper mountains. Add colored bits to create a craggy look. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack sticks to itself.

5. Shape human-made elements found on the landscape, such as villages, fishing piers, or boat docks. In Greece, the white stucco architecture of coastal towns is in striking contrast with the rugged cliffs. Air-dry your sculpture.

6. Use Crayola School Glue to attach the sculpture to its base.

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.


  • Learn more about Ancient Greek mapmakers. Find out why the word for a book of maps is the same as an ancient Greek god.
  • Display different coastlines around the world. Exhibit these together for a coastlines-of-the-world tour.
  • Chart different geological events that have created coastlines. Figure out the percentage of each type around the world. How do scientists predict that global warming will affect coastlines?
  • Invite a neighbor with Greek ancestry to visit your classroom to talk about the country’s culture and landscape.
  • Assessment: Compare sculptures to photographs of the geographic region in question. How realistic and complete are the details? What do students know about the area’s culture and geology?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Washable Watercolors
  • Watercolor Brushes with Plastic Handle
  • Model Magic®
  • No-Run School Glue
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels
  • masking tape
  • cardboard
  • container(s) of water



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students research an area with at least one dominant geographical feature.

  • Students display their findings in a realistic 3-dimensional presentation.

  • Students prepare ancillary material to support their project.


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