As much as possible, I like to tie in art projects to what the students are learning in their other classrooms. The 4th/5th grade class studies ancient civilizations and has a big unit on Egypt.
In art class, I showed them a long slideshow about Egyptian art and architecture.
Then, the students made a sarcophagus drawing.
They all started with a shape tracer for the sarcophagus. I don’t often use tracers, but once in awhile, I think it helps to start them off on a confident foot. I didn’t want them to become frustrated with getting the shape just quite right. There are plenty of sarcophagus templates on the internet if you google for them.
I gave them a handout with directions about how to set up their sarcophagus. Basically, they needed to divide their sarcophagus into sections. Then they drew the facial features, hair and other details. They were encouraged to draw 3-5 Egyptian hieroglyphs and make ups 2 or more of their own symbols. Then they could color in their sarcophagi however they wanted.
After their pictures were complete, we made these OUT OF CLAY!! We actually made sarcophagus boxes with lids. The students replicated their drawings very well. These boxes turned out awesome and the kids loved this project. The boxes are in the kiln right now being fired and we are going to paint them next week. Of course, I will show you pictures when they are all finished, but let me tell you, they are fantastic! This is the first time I taught an Egyptian art lesson where we made the sarcophagi out of clay and I’m pleased with how it all went.
If you are curious about other projects we’ve made incorporating ancient civilizations here are a couple of links: