How to make a model of an island for a science project

Updated February 21, 2017

Islands can occur in any body of water, including oceans, rivers, lakes or bays. A group of islands is called an archipelago. Most ocean islands either rise from the ocean floor, as the Hawaiian Islands, or are parts of a continental shelf that is surrounded by water. Greenland is the largest island in the world. You can make a model island using simple materials.

Crumple each sheet of newspaper in your hands. This will create a rocky landscape, so make a lot of folds and bumps. Shape the crumpled newspaper into a rough volcano shape. Tape to the centre of the cardboard sheet.

Mix equal parts water and glue in a small mixing bowl. Start with one cup of each and make more as necessary. Paint the glue mixture thickly over the newspaper and immediately around the newspaper island on the cardboard base. Sprinkle sand or dirt over the glue before it dries. Allow the glue and sand to dry overnight.

Turn the model over while standing outside or over a garbage can to remove excess sand and dirt. Paint the cardboard base blue around the island to represent the water. Add details to the island as desired.


Add flowers, trees, animals, lava flows or other island details as required to create a more detailed model.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard sheet, two feet by two feet (two feet square)
  • 2 sheets of newspaper
  • School glue
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 cups sand or dirt
  • Blue paint
  • Green paint
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About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Dawn Marcotte has been writing for more than 10 years. Her recent writing has turned to nonfiction and includes articles on home and garden, education, crafts and automotive subjects. She currently has several eBooks published and available online. Marcotte has a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Iowa.