Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wow Your Friends With This Great Wall!

The only criticism I have of Tapestry of Grace's schedule is that they only allow one week to study Ancient China and Ancient India.  We stretched both of these units into two-weeks.  China could have been stretched further to three weeks, but we decided to save something for the next time we tour this time period.

The kids spent two weeks just making their model of the Great Wall of China.  Of course, it's just a sample of the wall, but it's still pretty big.  It takes up almost the whole dining table and will soon have to live in the attic for awhile as we keep bumping into it!

We started with FloraCraft's foam project bricks.  It took approximately 4 boxes to complete the project.  We bought them at Michael's, however I don't see them on the Michael's website.  I do see them available through Amazon.  If you are in WalMart, Hobby Lobby or any other craft store, this is what the box looks like: 

The kids started with a standard science project tri-fold board.  They drew a curvy line with pencil that stretched the length of the board and then drew another line alongside it to represent the boundaries of the wall on both sides.  They started building up the bricks on each side, using hot glue, staggering them like real bricks until they were about 4 or 5 rows high.  At this point they laid cardboard from a Freschetta Pizza box on top to represent the place where one might walk.  They had some trouble with getting the cardboard to fit just right, so this is where a parent comes in handy!  The tunnels are just built up a little higher than the rest of the wall.  You can use toothpicks or pieces of a skewer for the tops of the tunnels.  You can't simply hot glue them together--they will sag and droop before they have a chance to dry.  The flames are just construction paper shapes glued to jar lids from the recycle bin.
You can find papier mache-type modeling cloth to complete your scenery.  It's just something you would wet and place atop crumpled newspapers to form mountains and hills.  This is in the model-building section of any hobby store.  After it dries, the kids can paint it to look like real mountains.  You can also add fake greenery to represent trees and shrubs.  Don't forget to paint the surrounding bodies of water!


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