Tuesday, June 14, 2016

3rd Grade Terra Cotta Warriors

I was lucky enough to post a student teacher again this year. It was my fourth time in the last five years and it went extremely well. Based simply when student teachers are placed in my building, I often will have them work with students on a couple of projects that will wind up in the art show. 

Miss Christie Paul, who was from The Ohio State University, worked with my students for a total of seven weeks. She had written this clay lesson previous to working with my students and I told her it was too cool not to use. 

Miss Paul led discussions about the Terra Cotta warriors found in China. Students learned that each one is different and the sculptures represented many different types of people, not just warriors. Each student first drew his or her own warrior before building it out of clay. The clay went together piece by piece over the course of about three classes and was put together using scoring and a few drops of water. Some details were carved in after the sculpture was finished. 

The warriors were bisque fired, then they needed some paint. We used a two step process that works very well for aging sculptures. Students first painted the entire piece with a mix of acrylic paints that gave it the basic warm light brown color. After that layer was dry, students went over the whole sculpture again with a wash of darker brown paint. This was almost immediately wiped off. The cool part of this technique is that the wash will fill into details and cracks which really brings out the smaller, more intricate elements of the sculpture. 

Overall, this lesson turned out very well. I'm very seriously considering using it again next year! 


Unknown said...

Whoa! What a great lesson! Great display too!

Unknown said...

I am impressed and motivated enough to try a similar lesson with one of my classes. I think your grade 3 is about our year 4 level (8 year olds?) I am going to China in May and will see the Terra Cotta Warriors. Just another reason to take this on. Thanks for posting.