For ten years the Greeks besieged the city of Troy unsuccessfully, as the story was told in the epic poem “The Odyssey.” As the Greeks were about to pack up their ships and leave, their leader Odysseus thought up a last effort of guerrilla warfare. The Greeks built a giant wooden horse, left it at the gates of Troy and seemingly sailed away. Thinking it was a gift, the Trojans wheeled it into the city, and out spilled Greek soldiers -- taking the Trojans unaware. Model your own Trojan horse out of Popsicle sticks and cardboard. Craft the project after reading Homer’s epic for a better understanding of how the Greeks defeated the Trojans.
Things You'll Need
- Empty cereal box
- 100 Popsicle sticks
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
- 4 identical plastic lids
- Power drill with 5/8-inch drill bit
- 2 drinking straws
- Acrylic paint
Cut the front and back of the cereal box out so you have two flat rectangular pieces of cardboard. Fold one in half horizontally. Crease the fold so it will stay folded.
Measure 1 inch in from the left and the right along the top folded edge. Make a mark at these points. Place your ruler on the point on the left side and angle it to the left toward the left corner of the cardboard. Draw a line to the left corner. Do the same for the right side. Cut along the lines. Keep the cardboard folded and cut through both layers of board.
Find the center of the bottom edge. Draw a 4-inch-tall trapezoid centered along the bottom edge. Cut the trapezoid out. Keep the cardboard folded and cut through both layers of board.
Open the cardboard and lay it flat. Extend the lines on the side of the trapezoid up to the fold. You are creating the trap door where the Greek soldiers jumped out. Cut along the two lines up to the fold. Do not cut across the fold. You are creating a flap.
Close the cardboard so both layers are together. You now have the horse's body. Make a mark 1/4 inch up from the bottom edge in the center of each "leg" for the wheel. Poke a hole through the legs with a sharp pencil. Hold the layers together while piercing the paper so your holes line up on both sides. Round the holes out by moving the pencil in a circular motion.
Stand the horse up on the workspace. Set it so it looks like an A or an upside-down V. Measure the space on the inside of the horse. You will need to cut and make a shelf out of the other piece of cardboard. Add 1/4 inch to your measurement. Fold and crease the sides of the shelf upwards so it looks like a sled. Glue the folded sides to the inside of the horse. This is the shelf the Greeks sat on as they waited in the horse.
Cut pieces of Popsicle stick to form "spokes" that fit the plastic lids, making 4 wheels. Glue the sticks to the lids with hot glue and allow them to dry completely. Drill a hole in the middle of the wheels with a power drill using a 5/8-inch drill bit.
Apply pieces of Popsicle stick to the horse’s body. Cut sticks to fit as needed. Leave a square of open space around each hole for the wheels.
Thread a drinking straw through a wheel. Pull the wheel to the end, leaving about 1/4 inch of straw exposed. Push the straw through the wheel holes on both sides of the front of the horse. Slide another wheel onto the straw. Push it flush against the horse. Trim the straw so 1/4 inch of it remains. Repeat for the back wheels.
Cut a rectangular piece of cardboard 5 inches wide by 10 inches long. Fold it in half horizontally. Measure with a ruler 2 inches from the folded edge and make a 1-inch cut through both layers on the right side. Cut at a 70-degree angle. Draw a line from the bottom right corner up to the end of the cut and cut along the line. This is the horse’s head and neck.
Glue sticks to the horse’s head and neck. Position the head on the corner of the horse’s body so the notched or cut part is facing outward and glue to secure.
Add small pieces of Popsicle stick to create details such as a mane and tail. Paint the horse with acrylic paint.
Tips & Warnings
- Use caution when using a power drill. Children will need a parent to help.
- My Inspired Class: Make a Popsicle Stick Trojan Horse
- Crafts from the Past: The Greeks: Gillian Chapman
- Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images
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