AccessArt Olympics: Making Medals

Explore the project below to help pupils consider how they might design an Olympic and Paralympic Medal based on either Athletics, History or Olympic Values.

Medal Design

Aim: To introduce pupils to the Olympic and Paralympic Medals. Pupils will get the opportunity to design and make their own medals through drawing and sculpture.

Step 1: Introduce in Sketchbooks

Consider asking pupils to make an Olympic project sketchbook using one of the “Making Sketchbooks” resources.

Begin by introducing pupils to medals designed for the Olympics and Paralympics with”Talking Points: Olympic and Paralympic Medals“. Invite pupils to create “Visual Notes” in their sketchbooks inspired by the information they see. 


Step 2: Drawing and Sketchbooks

Use the medals from the previous session as inspiration for “Making Money! Drawing and Making“. Adapt the resource slightly, inviting pupils to design a medal for their own Olympics/Paralympics. You may like to focus the design process by making links to your local area or individual values/personalities.

Making Money

Step 3: Making

Make connections between 2D and 3D by transforming the drawn medal designs in clay.

Adapt the “Clay Portrait Miniatures” resource to accommodate the focus of the project. Pupils might like to create medals to celebrate their favourite sport or hobby.

Clay ‘Portrait’ Miniatures by Sharon Gale

Step 4: Reflect

Use the resource here to help you run a class “crit” to finish the project. 

Invite children to display the work in a clear space on tables or on the wall. Recap with them about the exploration – where they started, what they discovered and what they enjoyed. 

If you have class cameras or tablets, invite the children to document their work, working in pairs or teams.

Clay ‘Portrait’ Miniatures by Sharon Gale



A3/A2 Paper

Drawing materials

Foam board 

Card template

Air-drying clay

Rolling pins

Burlap/hessian mat

Wooden battens

Tools for clay

Clay Slip (see preparation in advance)

Soft wire to make a hanging loop

Wire cutters

Small pliers


You may like to include a historical context, for example Ancient Greece. Use the “Clay Art Medals” resource and create profiles on the medals inspired by Ancient Greek coins.

If you would like to explore the Values of the Olympics you might like to look at War Medals to see how medals can be designed to represent a specific Value.

Explore Other Resources in Values:

Explore other olympic themes