Make Your Own Petroglyph


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Photos of Student Made Petroglyphs

Preparation -

Provide the students with a worksheet showing common Indian symbols. After the students have learned about petroglyphs and/or pictographs, have them "write" petroglyph stories using these Indian symbols or ones that the students invent. Exchange papers and allow students to try to "read" each others symbol stories.

Step One - Before lunch-

Mix up a batch of plaster of paris to the consistency of thick pancake batter. Scoop out a large spoonful of material and place it on a square of foil on a desk or table. It should be about about the size of a large pancake. -- 4 - 5" in diameter and 1/4 - 1/2 " thick. Let the plaster of paris rounds dry for several hours.

Step Two - During lunch -

Dip each round into very thick brown tempra paint. to cover both sides. Set in sun to dry.

Step Three - After lunch -

Using something hard, like a large nail, have students carve on the smoothest side of their plaster of paris "stone". Have them carve part of the symbol story that they wrote earlier. They will use their nail to carve through the brown paint and into the still rather soft plaster of paris .

Let dry thorougly.


Rubric -

Grade the petroglyphs on a scale of 1 to 6 (high). If you or a student can read the petroglyph score it a 3 or 4. Further raise the score as the number of symbols used increased.