8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt

Jun 5, 2015 by

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt
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Twice a year, I teach a 8-week GATE class. Students qualify through a district test and I pick the topic. We’ve studied Greek Mythology, become Crime Scene Investigators, made movies and most recently traveled back in time to Ancient Egypt.

It was actually a challenge finding ideas for this topic online-I thought there would be more, but I found myself piecing it together from Pinterest and random homeschooling blogs. Below are the 8 art projects we completed and presented at our Family GATE Night!

1. Organ Jars
This was by far my favorite activity. We wrapped mason jars in either plaster cloth or paper mache (we ran out of plaster cloth early on), and then used air-dry clay to sculpt the heads on the top. After a week, students painted them. They turned out GREAT.

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com

2. Egyptian Masks
I ordered a set of blank Venetian masks from the art catalog and we studied what Egyptian masks looked like once painted. Students created their own and glued it onto a large piece of construction paper, which they also painted.

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com

3. Egyptian Sarcophagus
I think the kiddos loved this the most. I was able to snag a large amount of shoe boxes from our local sporting goods store and we wrapped them in yellow butcher paper. Students used Egyptian hieroglyphics to write about the dearly departed buried inside, and then wrapped a doll from home in gauze. They used air-dry clay to create items the doll could use in the afterlife, and put the items in the box.

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com
4. Jewelry Bibs
Students were really into the idea of making Egyptian jewelry, so we studied the style of bib necklaces worn in their art. I gave them metallic paper and they used that to create their own bibs they might like to wear.

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com
5. Pharaoh Portrait Scratch Art
This was actually a huge failure. I had bought a set of scratch art ‘paper’, but the company forgot to send us the scratching tools. I didn’t realize until it was much too late, and we could not get ANYTHING to scratch that paper. We ended up trying to use pencils, as the lead showed up on the black coating, but it wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be. I had images of rainbow scratch portraits, and we got some pretty scraggly grafite sketches.

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com
6. Salt Dough Pyramids
Students studied the three different types of Egyptian pyramid architecture, and then picked at least one to replicate.  This would have been an outstanding project if I had any clue how to make salt dough. Because apparently I do not. We mixed up a batch and used foam board for our base, but over the following weeks the dough flattened and then started to mold. Wheeeeee! Would definitely recommend this project, but would also recommend figuring out how to make legit salt dough first.

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com
7. Hieroglyphic Writing
The simplest project we did was one of the best in the end. We learned about different written languages that have been built around the idea of pictures instead of letters and then wrote our own stories using a set of hieroglyphics I found online. Students crumpled brown construction paper to make it look like papyrus paper. Simple and effective!

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com
8. Mummified Apples
There is no picture to show for this because you would puke. I’m not in the business of making my readers puke, so it’s been deleted from my phone and will never be shown. To anyone. If you decide to mummify apples, make sure you get REAL powdered bleach. I was in a rush and grabbed the only powdered bleachy-anything in the laundry aisle-hey, it SAID Clorox on it!!-and I’m guessing it was some color safe not-really-bleach powder. The apples smelled really good (almost like… fresh laundry?), but if that is what mummies look like under their gauze, we need to keep those suckas wrapped up.

Bonus! The entire inspiration for this unit was in the book Wonder, by Raquel Palacio. In the book, students complete a unit on Ancient Egypt and then take their parents through a display of their artifacts in a dark room with flashlights. So, we did! Students grabbed a flashlight and a paper bag to collect their items. (I recommend getting flashlights from the Dollar Tree.)

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com

 

 

Then students took their parents through the ancient tomb with all their artifacts.

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com

 

Everyone had a great time, and the students REALLY got into the subject matter.

8 Art Ideas for Studying Ancient Egypt -SproutClassrooms.com

Enjoy your study on Ancient Egypt, and remember-get REAL BLEACH! 😉

-Kat

 

 

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