Title: Designs In Snowflakes 

Type: Crayon Resist Art Lesson

Grade Rage: 6-8


A fun and easy-to-execute lesson plan great for intermediate students that explores crayon resists and watercolor painting!


Download the lesson plan in .pdf here



    • Maped Essentials Triangular Graphite #2 Pencils [851779ZT]
    • Maped Classic 1 Hole Metal Pencil Sharpener [006600] (optional)
    • Helix Angle & Circle Maker [36002]
    • Maped Zenoa Fit Soft Grip Student Scissors 7” [597249]
    • Maped Color’Peps PlastiClean Plastic Crayons x24 [862049]
    • 1 sheet of 9×12 Manila paper (or newsprint)
    • 1 sheet of 12×18 White paper, uncut
    • Watercolor Paint Palettes (cool colors like Blue & Purple work best!
    • 2” Watercolor Brush and Bowls for Water (tuna cans work great for this!)
    • Salt; table, kosher, or margarita.  (It can be a mixture)
    • Tape to paper drawing to table (optional)



    • Students will create a variety of different shapes and textures.
    • Design a composition which includes arranging a variety of at least 3 shapes in a pleasing design.
    • Create linear textures in the positive shapes.
    • Enhance the design with a wash of watercolors in the negative spaces
    • Create added texture in the background by adding salt crystals.
    • Better understand angles & compositions!


Overview & Directions

Explain to students that they will first be drawing and cutting out snowflake shapes using the Angle & Circle Maker to create a template for their resist drawings.  Demonstrate how to use the Angle & Circle Maker, how to fold the Manila circles into fourths, and how to cut out sections to create patterns.  Then you can discuss what makes up a good artistic composition while laying out their templates, coloring with crayons and finishing them with watercolor paint!

    • Pass out Manila paper and a Angle & Circle Maker to each student and have them draw 3 different sized circles on the paper.  Students can trace the outer ring of the Circle Maker for their largest circle, and then use the rotating inner disc to create 2 more.  Make sure these circles don’t overlap, and have them mark the center point of each circle when drawing.
    • Center the Circle Maker and draw 6 evenly spaced, 60° segment lines on all 3 of their circles.  Now is a good time to point out that a circle has 360° and you can spend some time doing STEAM-reinforcing measurements in degrees and fractions.
    • Collect the Angle & Circle Makers and instruct your students to carefully cut out their 3 circles using the Zenoa Fit Scissors.
    • Together as a class, begin with the big circle and fold the paper in half going across the circle (90° to 270°).  Make sure to fold the paper ‘underneath’ itself so the dividing lines you’ve drawn are still facing ‘out’ once the paper is folded in half.  With the flat fold pointing towards you and the curve facing away, fold each 60° in along the line you’ve drawn.  You should be left with what looks like a pie shape with the tip pointing towards you (see illustration below):

    • Rotating the point of the pie away from you, draw a “V” shape in the outside (curved) side of the circle and cut it out.
    • Unfold the pie shape and see how it looks.  Refold it and make additional cuts along the folded edges and on the curved top side to make the snowflake more complex!
    • Fold and cut the medium and small snowflakes just as you did the large one.  It is more difficult to cut little holes in the smaller snowflake, so they will appear a little simpler.  Make sure each student puts their names on their snowflakes to avoid confusion!
    • Pass out the 12 x 18 sheet of white paper and have the students carefully place and LIGHTLY trace around the shapes of the snowflakes making sure to trace the holes in them as well.  Continue placing and tracing snowflakes to fill in the empty negative spaces on your paper.  They will have room to repeat some flakes, or if they have used all of theirs, they may exchange with someone close by until a pleasing composition is achieved.  Snowflakes may go off the page (called breaking space).
    • Using the PlastiClean Crayons, chose light colors like White or Lavender and use PRESSURE to retrace the snowflakes with white.  Add linear textures (crosshatching, scribbling, dots, dashes, popcorn, etc.) inside the positive shapes of the snowflakes to make them latticed like a crystal.  Remember to press hard on the crayon so it is very waxy; the thicker the better the design will show up!  You can also have them sign their name in crayon on the front of the design if you would like to.
    • On the day when students are completing their designs, prep the paint by removing a purple and blue cake of watercolor paint out of a watercolor palette and place them in 2 small bowls of water (tuna cans are perfect!).  Add enough water to soak the paint until they become soft and dissolve in the water. More water may be added as needed when students begin using it.
    • As the students complete their drawings by filling in the resist with the PlastiClean Crayons, they can take their designs to a designated watercolor station. Using a 2” paintbrush, broadly stroke over the entire paper to add a wash of blue and purple. The crayon in the positive shapes of the snowflakes will resist the paint and color the negative space!  If there is not enough contrast, add a little more concentrated watercolor. Be care about saturating the paper too much, you don’t want it limp and soggy.
    • While the paper is still wet and glistening, sprinkle a little salt around the paper.  As it dries, the salt draws the water with the color, and it will create smaller crystal textures in the background. Being careful not to touch the salt after it is on the paper, transfer to a drying rack to dry undisturbed!

Discussion Topics & Evaluation:

    • Composition: Is there a pleasing distribution (balance) of POSITIVE shapes and NEGATIVE spaces?  Did the student show variety and use at least three different sizes of snowflakes?  Are they all a little different?
    • Technique: Did the student’s snowflakes show up well?  Did they press down on the white crayon so the shapes showed up clearly in CONTRAST to the watercolor background?  Did the student use TEXTURE in the snowflakes positive shapes?


Did you like this lesson plan? Share your creations on social networks with the hashtag #MapedDIY , we will be delighted to see what you’ve made! And find all our tutorials of creative activities online.

See you soon!