Fire-Breathing Dragon

Lesson #12097

Make a fire-breathing dragon to celebrate Chinese New Year or for fairy tales and storytelling fun.

Grade Level:

Here is a creative use for recycled paper towel and toilet paper tubes. Using pieces cut from various die shapes, your students can design imaginative creatures and then use a straw and their breath to bring the creatures to life.

Decorate a recycled paper towel or toilet paper tube to enhance a story or fairy tale or to help celebrate Chinese New Year.

13298-LG-Ellison SureCut Die - Fish #2 - Large 15934-LG-Ellison SureCut Die - Circle 1", 9-Up - Large A10608-Sizzix Bigz Die - Border, Wave
Adhesive, Construction and tissue paper, Craft paint, Markers, Recycled paper towel or toilet paper tubes, Scissors, Sponge applicator, Straws
Adhesive, Construction and tissue paper, Craft paint, Markers, Recycled paper towel or toilet paper tubes, Scissors, Sponge applicator, Straws

The teacher will die-cut the materials for student use prior to the lesson.

  1. Use craft paint and a sponge applicator to paint the recycled paper towel or toilet paper tube, and let dry.
  2. Die-cut two of the Border, Wave shapes from construction paper.
  3. Fold up 1/2" on the bottom of each wave, and adhere the tops of the waves together.
  4. Place adhesive on the flat bottom of the wave, and press down onto the painted tube. This will make a crest for the dragon. Use a marker to highlight the crest (Main Photo).
  5. Die-cut two tails from the Fish #2 shapes using construction paper, and trim the body part of the fish into a triangle.
  6. Fold and cut a small slit on both sides where the tail and the body of the fish meet, and attach the fish tails to one end of the tube. These will make eyebrows for the dragon (Main Photo).
  7. Die-cut Circle 1", 9-Up shapes from construction paper for the eyes and nostrils of the dragon. Decorate with markers.
  8. Fold the circles, and cut a small slit on both sides of the fold. Place adhesive on the bottom of the folded circles, and adhere to the tube (Main Photo).
  9. Cut contrasting colors of tissue paper into thin strips about 8" in length. 
  10. Fasten the strips to the inside of the tube with adhesive, covering the top and sides of the tube. Any strips applied to the bottom of the tube will hang down, and will not move when the student blows in the tube.
  11. Use a straw to blow into the tube and create moving flames from the dragon’s mouth (Main Photo).
  12. Students (and teachers!) who are filled with a lot of air will have a great time making a fire-breathing dragon!

National Arts-Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques and Processes
Achievement Standard:

  • Students describe how different materials, techniques and processes cause different responses.
  • Students use different media, techniques and processes to communicate ideas, experiences and stories.


NS.K-4.2 Physical Science
As a result of the activities in grades K–4, all students should develop an understanding of

  • Properties of objects and materials.
  • Position and motion of objects.


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