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Winning Lesson Plan
Color It Recycled!

Subject: Visual Arts, Science, Chemistry
Grade: Early Childhood Education, K-2

Brief Description

Students melt old crayon stubs and mold them into interesting shapes and characters. They can also add paper clips to create hanging ornaments!


Students learn about states of matter, recycling, and waste reduction. They create something new from discarded materials.


Sorting, classifying, states of matter, recycling, art

Materials Needed

Old, thin crayons; candy molds; water; electric frying pan; cookie sheet; paper clips

Lesson Plan

  • Students break old, thin crayons into small pieces and sort by color.
  • Each student selects the colors and mold he or she wants to use and puts the crayons into the mold.
  • Add water to an electric frying pan and set the temperature to 350 degrees.
  • Place a cookie sheet on top of the electric frying pan and place the molds (a few at a time) on top of the cookie sheet.
  • Students watch as the steam melts the crayons into the shape of the molds.
  • Set a paper clip in each mold before the crayons melt completely.
  • Students watch as the shapes cool and re-solidify.


Before the lesson, discuss what will happen to the crayons when they are heated and cool down. Help students write their thoughts in their journals. Discuss the questions again after the lesson, and have students compare what they thought would happen with what actually happened.

Lesson Plan Source

Adapted from a lesson found at the Environmental Occupational Health Sciences Institute at Rutgers University

Theresa M. Santiago, E. J. Patten Elementary School, Perth Amboy, New Jersey

As our highlighted lesson, the submitter was awarded a $50 honorarium. See our guidelines to submit yours!


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