Macchia Madness

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In this activity, learners explore the history of making objects from glass and artistry of Dale Chihuly. Learners visit an online "hot shop" to discover how glass is transformed into works of art and create a virtual "Macchia" or a special glass form that Chihuly invented. They investigate the way that Chihuly uses drawings to design his sculptures and create their own sculptures by combining smaller parts to make a whole. This activity is featured on pp.35-38 of the "Fireworks of Glass: The Art of Dale Chihuly" unit of study for grades 3-5.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Images of Fireworks of Glass Tower and Ceiling
  • Images of ancient glass objects
  • Student Handout: Hot Shop (page 41)
  • Computers with web access
  • Paper and sketching pencils
  • Found objects and materials, such as pieces of cardboard, newspaper, fabric, plastic, foam, clothespins, and other “junk” items
  • Painting media, such as tempera, watercolors, watercolor crayons, brushes and paint applicators
  • Glue, paste, tape, wire, and other bonding materials
  • Scissors, wire cutters, etc.


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
    • Technology
      • Manufacturing
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and History
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • use keyboard
  • use mouse
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, 2006