How cute is this painted paper crocodile? Something I love about cutting and gluing projects with kids is that their crocodiles will each be terrifically unique and have so much personality. Some will have huge mouths and tiny feet. Others will have snaggleteeth and fearsome eyes. Whatever the fun result, this is a great line and texture lesson for your kids and one that also gives them lots of opportunity to practice cutting.
To tie this lesson into learning about ancient Egyptian art, we read Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile by Tomie de Paola and talked about all the ancient Egyptian art the characters found along the Nile river.
ABOUT NILE CROCODILES
Nile crocodiles live all over Africa and are named after one of their homes in the long Nile river that runs through Egypt. They can grow as long as 20 feet and weigh up to 1,650 pounds! Their ears, eyes and nostrils are on the top of their head so that they can see, hear and smell while they are swimming in the water.
They started their crocodile pieces and they’ll finish them off tomorrow!
ABOUT EGYPTIAN HIPPO SCULPTURES
With the Nile River running through their land, ancient Egyptians were familiar with hippopotami. Their art included small sculptures of hippopotami.
The most famous is this statuette of a hippopotamus (popularly called "William") was found in a tomb and is now housed at the MET Museum. It was molded in faience, a ceramic material made of ground quartz. Beneath the blue glaze, the body was painted with lotuses. These river plants depict the marshes in which the animal lived, but at the same time their flowers also symbolize regeneration and rebirth as they close every night and open again in the morning.
The seemingly benign appearance that this figurine presents is deceptive. To the ancient Egyptians, the hippopotamus was one of the most dangerous animals in their world. The huge creatures were a hazard for small fishing boats and other rivercraft. The beast might also be encountered on the waterways in the journey to the afterlife. As such, the hippopotamus was a force of nature that needed to be propitiated and controlled, both in this life and the next. Only one of the legs in the statue is original, the other three are modern day restorations and it is believed that they were broken on purpose to protect the tomb’s owner in the afterlife.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics of our clay molding but I’ll definitely get them painting and decorating them in our next session.
This lesson was inspired by the book Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert which tells the story of Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut’s cat who finds himself awakened from his mummified state to roam the pyramid.
ABOUT CATS IN ANCIENT EGYPT
In ancient Egypt, cats were linked to the cat goddess Bastet. Many households had pet cats that were important members of the family. When a beloved cat died, its owners would often shave their eyebrows to signify their grief. 😳 Sometimes after their death, cats were mummified just like people. We asked the question; “Would you shave your eyebrows for your cat??” 😂😂 The answer was of course a resounding NOOOOO!!
ABOUT EGYPTIAN HEADDRESSES
The headdresses, or head crowns, worn by the ancient Egyptians were reserved for royalty, including the Pharaoh, and Egyptian gods. Headdresses changed as fashion evolved in ancient Egypt. Headdresses signified importance and power and each type of headdress was worn for a specific occasion, such as a special event, a battle or a religious ceremony.
The Little Hippo by Geraldine Elschner is the come-to-life story of an ancient Egyptian hippo sculpture. The book pairs perfectly with
this drawing and printmaking lesson that features the cutest little blue hippo wading among the papyrus plants along the banks of the Nile river.
ABOUT EGYPTIAN HIPPO SCULPTURES
With the Nile River running through their land, Ancient Egyptians were familiar with hippopotami. Their art included small sculptures of hippopotami. Today, the most famous of these sculptures are the blue ceramic hippopotami that are decorated with nile river plants such as lotus flowers.
Be a fly on the wall in our art room! Take a look at what we do, how we do it and the smiles that I get to see week after week :)