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'Jade' Lotus Carvings

Recreate the beauty of precious jade in a flower blossom! Sculpt a lotus, the symbol of an open mind in many Asian cultures.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. In many Asian cultures, the lotus flower is a symbol of enlightenment. Jade was often used to carve these flowers, as this gemstone is highly valued by Asian cultures. Invite students to research the shape of a lotus flower and the carving methods used with jade. During the investigation, encourage students to use Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils to sketch the lotus flower.
    2. Here is one way to sculpt a realistic replica of a jade lotus blossom. Mix white and neon green Crayola Model Magic to create a light green jade color. Jade also can be white and salmon; invite students to use these colors if they prefer. Form several fairly large petals. Join them together in the middle to create the first layer.
    3. Students make several more layers of petals, each one slightly smaller than the one before. Press each layer together at the center. Then press each smaller layer inside the larger layer.
    4. Squeeze the flower slightly from the bottom so it appears to be opening. The tighter you squeeze, the tighter the blossom will be! Air-dry the jade lotus for at least 24 hours.
    5. While waiting for their Model Magic flowers to dry, ask students to discuss the meaning of enlightenment and how it may relate to their lives. Why are lotus flowers considered a symbol of enlightenment?
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Give examples of and explain groups and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Students research the origin of the use of the lotus symbol in Asian cultures. Explain the meanings associated with the symbol.

    Students sketch an outline of the world map and each country's borders. Students locate where jade is found in the world. How is jade mined? Why is it so expensive to mine this mineral?

    Students investigate the botanical features of the lotus plant and create a realistic model of it, including the underwater root system. Use Crayola Model Magic to assist with this model.

    Students research other historic and contemporary carvings made using jade. What do these symbols represent? Experiment with delicate sculptures using traditional and innovative designs.


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