Egyptian canopic jars

As a continuation of a unit on Ancient Egypt, sixth grade students are making canopic jars.  Canopic jars held the organs from the mummified bodies of Pharohs that would be needed in the afterlife. The jars feature heads of the four sons of the God Horus in the shape of a jackal, baboon, falcon, and human.  Our jars are made from Pringles cans and paper mache.  Soon they will be painted to include a message in hieroglyphics.

This week we starting doing "decoupage" or a much cleaner version of paper mache . We are using Modpodge. Modpodge rules because it already has a sealer included inside the glue. Students are currently working on the base using metal tin jars that were donated and Dixie coffee containers from Target

First, students take their tin or coffee container and add three layers of newspaper to it. I tell kids this: on the container glue, then newspaper, then glue on top of their newspaper strip. Newspaper strips should be no longer than the coffee container and no wider than two fingers. Remind students, it's glue their hands. Just glue. They won't die and remind them that you have always have dirty hands too. Dirty hands means creative people.

The head is the easiest (yet hardest when it's your first time as a third grader) to do. We are making "The Jackel" canopic jar. I still challenged my students to do one of the others. Many of my students conveyed that they were not ready to go off on their own. But a couple did. We are coming back to paper mache with New Zealand masks. I think they will be more confident in taking more choices then.

To make a jackel head:

  • Take one piece of newspaper and crumble it up into a ball.

  • Take the ball and using masking tape it tip the top of the coffee lid

  • Using a toilet roll, cut a 2 inch piece off for the noise. Take the nose to the "front" of your jackel face.

  • Cut one inch off of the same toilet roll, cut in half twice, and create ears. Tape ears to the top of the head.

  • Begin, using Modpodge and newspaper strips again the entire head, ears, and nose just like the coffee cup.

For more decoupage tutorials, check them out here.

More to come.



In the art room, students were listening to Radiohead's "The Bends" album via Spotify.