By studying Chinese artifacts, students can learn the history, social structure and culture of China. Creating artifacts such as Chinese coins, kites, and paper lanterns is a fun and easy way to introduce Chinese culture to students. Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of China's history through the recreation of historical artifacts. This is a particularly good project for introducing the Chinese New Year, Chinese currency, and/or Chinese traditions to students. The results are beautifully crafted artifacts that are functional as well as educational.
Things You'll Need
- Polymer clay
- Square-hole punch or crafting knife
- Chinese character stamps
- Stamp ink
- Acrylic paint
- Paint brushes
- Bamboo sticks
- Butcher paper
- White or colored computer paper
- Craft glue
Shape Chinese coins out of polymer clay. The coins will be easier to decorate if they are at least 2 inches in size. Use a square-hole punch or cut a square out of the center of the coin with a crafting knife.
Bake the clay in the oven at 130 degrees for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the coin. Let the coin cool before handling or painting.
Stamp or paint Chinese characters on the coin with ink or acrylic paint. To authenticate the coins, link the coins with a ribbon or place them on a stick.
Print pictures of Chinese kites to use as a reference. Chinese kites come in all shapes and sizes. Traditional Chinese kites were made from bamboo and silk.
Choose straight bamboo sticks to create the frame of the kites. The bamboo should be thick and strong for larger kites and small, thin strips for tiny decorative kites. Bamboo can usually be found at wood working craft stores.
Cut a piece of butcher paper to match the size of the kite frame and decorate with markers. Goldfish, dragons, swallows, insects and clouds were popular designs for traditional Chinese kites. Once you decorate the butcher paper, glue it to the frame.
Decorate a piece of paper to use as the lantern. An example would be to choose the animal of the year, for example, a dragon, monkey or rabbit.
Fold the decorated piece of paper in half width-wise so that it leaves a deep crease. Cut strips 1 inch apart from one of the folded edges to the other. When cutting, leave at least 1 inch uncut at the top.
Unfold the paper. Take the paper length-wise and glue or tape the ends together.
Cut two thin strips of colored paper about 1 inch in length and 8 1/2 inches long. Glue or tape to the strips of paper around the top and bottom of the lantern.
Tips & Warnings
- If you don't have access to an oven, air-drying clay can be used in place of polymer clay.
- Print out a paper lantern template with a design instead of designing your own.
- Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images
Definition of Artifacts in Software Project Management
In the software project development cycle, an artifact is any of the parts of the plans used to create and develop the...
How to Make Chinese Duck Sauce
Contrary to what its name suggests, duck sauce does not actually contain any fowl. The name “duck sauce” came about because it...
School Project: How to Make a Dragon
Making a dragon puppet is a perfect choice for a school project because it is a representative image in the Chinese New...
How to Make Ancient Chinese Paper
Before humans had paper, we had cave walls and colorful markings. After cave drawings, we had clay tablets, thanks to the Sumerians....
Projects for Social Studies on Artifacts
Social studies comprises a wide range of topics from economics and geography to history and politics. Artifacts can help students learn about...
Chinese Sports for Kids
With the largest population in the history of the world, and a history that is arguably richer than any other country, China...