How to Make a Model of a Shark

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Making a three dimensional model is a great way for kids to learn about living organisms. It gives them the opportunity to identify all of the working parts in a very hands-on fashion.

This shark model is a perfect project for the beginner model maker. It's made of styrofoam cups so it's not overly complicated but still allows for lots of labeling and learning.

This shark model uses styrofoam cups and toothpick labels.
(Stephanie Morgan)

Things You'll Need

  • 2 styrofoam cups
  • Styrofoam glue
  • Black tempera paint
  • White tempera paint
  • Sponge brush
  • Gray card stock
  • Goggly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape
  • Pen
  • White duct tape
  • Toothpicks
Step 1

For this project you'll need styrofoam cups, paint, tape, toothpicks, card stock and goggly eyes. Please see the last slide for an itemized list of tools and materials.

This simple shark model uses styrofoam cups to form the body.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 2

Squeeze a thin line of styrofoam glue around the rim of a styrofoam cup. Press the cup together with a second cup, rim to rim, and allow the glue to dry.

Use styrofoam glue to adhere two styrofoam cups together.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 3

Draw fins and a tail onto the gray card stock and cut out the shapes with scissors. See the resources section at the end of this slideshow for a guide to the type and number of fins to make.

Cut the shark's fins and tail out of cardstock.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 4

Mix one part black paint with two parts white paint to create gray paint. Use a sponge brush to cover the styrofoam cups with the paint and allow to dry. Repeat this process twice for a total of three coats.

Apply gray paint to the cups using a sponge brush.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 5

Attach the fins and tail to the shark body by placing a piece of tape above and below each piece. Place a small amount of styrofoam glue on the back of each goggly eye and adhere one to each side of the shark's head.

Use tape to attach the fins and tail.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 6

Use the tip of a toothpick to carve the mouth and gills into the shark head.

Add a mouth and gills using the tip of a toothpick.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 7

Tear off a one inch piece of white duct tape and center a toothpick on the sticky side, half way up. Fold the tape down over the toothpick so that the top edge meets the bottom edge.

Use a toothpick and white duct tape to make labels.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 8

Repeat several times and write the names of the various shark parts on your labels. Place the toothpicks into the styrofoam shark body where they belong. Refer to the resources section at the end of this slideshow for a shark anatomy guide.

Write the parts of the shark on your labels.
Stephanie Morgan

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