Friday, May 8, 2009

Night At The Museum History Unit - Ancient Rome: Paper Mosaic Craft

We learned a little more about Roman soldiers, and life in ancient Rome today. Visiting, we dressed a soldier, gaining little facts about the various parts of his armor. And, then we printed out a paper doll version of the soldier and the armor. We also played around on the site, making mosaics (Rome was more than just its soldier after all).

After making a few mosaics online, and then googling some photos of actual Roman mosaics, we were ready to try our hand at making one ourselves. Being short on tile, and grout, we opted for a paper version. This turned out to be a fairly labor intensive process, but easy enough for the little ones to help a bit.

  • We printed a grid patterned picture from These patterns are really intended for counted cross stitch, but since they are on a grid, they work great for mosaics too. Plus there's a great selection of pictures to choose from - from dinosaurs and frogs, to flowers and dogs.

  • Next we cut construction paper into 1/4'' squares to match the grid pattern of the picture we had chosen. Bigger squares would be easier for smaller hands, but I didn't want to enlarge the picture.

  • Then we cut a piece of clear contact paper about twice as big as our printed out pattern.

  • We peeled the backing off of the contact paper, placing it sticky side up, and positioning our pattern underneath.

  • Then, we were ready to place our construction paper squares onto the sticky contact paper, using the picture underneath as a guide.
  • Once we had all of our squares in place, we folded over the contact paper to cover the top side, and smoothed it down.

  • Finally, we cut out our flower shape, and with the addition of a little tape it was ready to hang on a wall or window.

I had originally planned to fill in a little more space on the contact paper in order to make placemats (I naively imagined each of the children making one of their own), but our flower ended up taking, all of us working together, most of the afternoon. We now know first hand at least one of the reasons why Rome was not built in a day!

It's great to be a homeschooler.

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