How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project

Written by sara cooper
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How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project
The Terracotta Warriors were discovered in 1974. (terracotta warriors 01 image by Bohanka from Fotolia.com)

The discovery of the Terracotta Warriors, a vast army of more than 8,000 clay soldiers in China, was a major find for anthropologists and art historians worldwide. Each sculpture is different, possibly modelled after individuals in Emperor Qin's army around 220BC. In addition to the soldiers, the tomb of Emperor Qin also contained some of his court's entertainers. Doing an elementary school project about the Terracotta Warriors can be both fun and educational for students and teachers alike.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Old newspaper
  • Paint brushes
  • Water
  • Flour
  • Gray paint
  • Black paint
  • White paint
  • Bowls

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Teach students the history of the Terracotta Warriors. Read passages aloud from your selected source.

    How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project
    Molds were used to make the faces of the warriors, but each one was enhanced by hand. (two terracotta soldiers from china image by Cosmic from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Talk about the purpose of the army. Let students propose possible reasons for creating the sculptures.

    How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project
    The warriors were painted, but they turn grey when exposed to air. (terracotta warriors 05 image by Bohanka from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Talk about Chinese culture from the Qin dynasty. Explain that much of China's legacy was destroyed and why it is important for a culture to preserve artefacts when it finds them.

    How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project
    China's ancient culture was very different than its modern one. (china image by Luisafer from Fotolia.com)
  1. 1

    Tell students that they will be making their own version of the Terracotta Warriors -- Paper Mache Warriors.

    How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project
    Paper mache is a great standard for children's crafts. (grunge paper pale paper image by Andrew Brown from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Have each child make a list of three important people in their lives. They should write a page about each person.

    How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project
    Writing about people they know is a great character writing exercise for children. (notebook image by Danil Vachegin from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Give each child three balloons (one for each head they will be making) and set up their workstations. Have them mix two cups of flour with six cups of water to make the glue.

    How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project
    This "glue" is less messy. (bottle of glue on black marble image by phizics from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Have the children blow up the balloons and place strips of newspaper coated with the glue mixture over the balloon until it's covered. They should do this with three balloons each.

    How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project
    Balloons help make a nice round shape. (balloons 1 image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    When the paper mache is completely dry, have students use the grey, black and white paint to paint the faces of their three chosen people. Now they have their own Paper Mache Warriors.

    How to Make a Terracotta Warrior School Project
    According to ancient historians, it took more than 700,000 people over 36 years to make the warriors, although this is now being disputed. (terracotta warriors 04 image by Bohanka from Fotolia.com)

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