Shore Road students create Terracotta soldier

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As a culminating activity to their study of ancient China, sixth-grade students in Carolyn Acevedo’s class at Shore Road School created a life-size Terracotta soldier. 

During the casting process, select students were wrapped in plastic bags and tape. Plaster strips were then applied to create a cast for the soldier’s body and head and then painted in designs indicative of the period.

“The Terracotta soldier was a perfect way to bring history to life,” Ms. Acevedo said. 

Prior to making the Terracotta soldier, the students participated in a videoconference with the Cleveland Museum of Art called “Tomb Culture of Ancient China.” They created Chinese lanterns to coincide with Lantern Day, a festival during the Chinese New Year. The students studied the five basic features of ancient China’s civilization, which included government and dynasties; art, architecture and public works; job specialization and social classes; religion and writing. They also focused their studies on the Qin Dynasty and how the emperor had terracotta soldiers in his tomb to protect him in the afterlife.

Ms. Acevedo explained that there was a research and writing component to the study. The students had to research and give presentations with an accompanying activity about one of the five features of China’s civilization. Additionally, they performed research-based inquiries through a social studies toolkit provided through Engage New York, the state’s new social studies framework for grades K-12.