Clay Terracotta Warriors

Term: 1 Year: 2014

The inspiration for the Clay Terracotta Warrior activity originated from Victorian Essential Learning Standards; looking at three dimensional art works from other people, cultures and media.

The students investigated the ‘The Terracotta Army’ from China on the internet with laptops. They needed images and basic and interesting facts about the army. The students also used the book by Dorling Kindersley called ‘Children’s Book of Art: an introduction to the most amazing paintings and sculptures’ for information, pictures and as an introduction to the Terracotta Army.

The students designed their 3D terracotta warrior using the following success criteria:

-The design needed to show the outside shape of the warrior they intend to create.

-The design needs to be suitable to stand on two strong, thick legs.

-The students need to think about balance; so that their warrior could stand without falling over.

-The design had to show the front, back and side view of the warrior.

After the design phase of the process the students were to create a 3D form out of clay:

-They made pinch pots and joined them together to form the body and head connecting them with a clay coil at the neck.

-To make the HEAD/FACE: The students manipulated and sculpted the clay to create the 3D features of their warriors head/face, based on their design.

-To make the ARMS: The students rolled out coils that would make both arms. They joined the arms to the body making sure that they started at the shoulder.

-To make the LEGS: The students rolled out a thick coil to form the legs. They tapped the bottom of the coil on the table top to make the foot. Then the joined the legs to the body making sure that the warrior could stand easily.

-To make the Armour/Clothes: The students manipulated and sculpted the clay to create the 3D features of their warriors armour, based on their design. They looked at the details in the pictures that they collected about the Chinese terracotta army and added the details of the armour to their model with wooden, clay tools.

-To make the Boots: The students added details to their models boots using wooden tools.

-The students finished modelling any other parts of their warriors as yet not done, e.g. their models hands.

-The students ensured all parts of their warriors were smooth.

-The teacher put a hole in the bottom of each warrior going up into the head. The hole needed to be done before the model was too dry.

 Visual folios/reflection (exploring and responding): Each student had to cut out their design drawings and glue them into their visual folios next to their collected information about the warriors.

The teacher took photos of the finished work, provide each student with a copy. The students put the copy in their folios and wrote a written refection on their work. They focussed on reflecting on what was new, challenging and how they feel about their work.

Nadean Griffin
Visual Art Teacher

Pakenham Springs Primary School
Suitable for AusVELS levels 5 & 6