After the immersion stage the children decided to look at treasures from Ancient Egypt. They found out what was important to the people living in Ancient Egypt. The children then decided they would like to re-create some of the treasures from Ancient Egypt - mummified cats and cartouches. Parents and family members would then be invited to come and view these treasures, at the children's learning celebration. I had the idea to call the learning celebration 'Twilight at the Museum.'
One tip here, you need to make sure you class are very well trained in cleaning-up. At times the class got messy, so it's best to use a workshop approach. I allowed one full day for the children to make the cat form and layer this with plaster. The cats then need a few days to really dry hard. Then I set aside afternoons to paint and apply the finishing touches.
This is the process I took my class through to create their cats and these are my own original ideas. The children were very excited and loved some of the techniques they learnt along the way, like dry brushing. These children were 7 to 8 years old and worked in pairs, so at the end we had about thirteen cats. The finished cats ranged in height from 30 cm to 50 cm.
There are many images of Ancient Egyptian mummified cats on google. The children where shown a variety of these images. Here's a couple of sites with basic information - British Museum and the Woodlands site. You could even read the book 'Cat Mummies,' by Kelly Trumble.
I now teach in a classroom that has a glass cabinet, what a coincidence! These cats now actually live like they're in a museum. They're now a bit battered due to the earthquakes, though this just adds to their character.
|For the final layer we used newsprint paper. Balls of newspaper were rolled for the heads and were tapped on with masking tape.|
|These are the mummified cats now ready to have plaster of paris wrapped around them.|
|We used plaster of paris bandages. These were briefly soaked in water then wrapped around the cat's form. You only need a couple of layers of plaster. The cats need to dry for about 2-3 days.|
|When the plaster was really hard the children painted two coats of white acrylic paint. The next day they were ready for the fabric. They ripped up pieces of calico (unbleached), cut bandages to glue with PVA onto the cat's body. They tried to make patterns with the fabric.|