CRAFTS: Native American Diorama Project for School, Alaskan Eskimo

School is in full swing, and so is the homework. We are knee deep in science fair at the moment. Well, maybe neck deep? Maybe we are drowning in science fair? Hm. maybe. Tomorrow we start on the big exhibit board, so check in with me then. It may be I will be drowning in a martini with a chaser of aspirin.
Did I just write that out loud?
Any whoo....

 I thought I would share a few of our past larger projects, so that I can help other parents tearing their hair out at some of these project beasts getting assigned to kids these days. I'm pretty crafty, and so is my daughter. And usually the craftier projects she did got A's. So we thought we would share a few in the coming months to help you out!

This one was for social studies, when she was studying various Native American cultures and habitats. She was assigned "Eskimos". My daughter needed to portray not just their housing, but environment, and allude to how they live, eat and hunt. She chose an igloo, which we found out was more temporary housing for hunting trips for Eskimos.

Craft Shop list:
A large piece of foam core with a shiny metallic surface to look like ice.
Poly fill or fake "snow" or cotton balls
a box of sugar cubes
a Styrofoam or paper bowl
hot glue gun & glue
card stock
A canoe Christmas ornament (or other canoe)
A small square of cheesecloth
Large chunks of Styrofoam
Twine or string
Clear orange, red and yellow beads


First thing, lay your foam board down and figure our where to build the igloo. Make a ring of sugar cubes using a glue gun to the size you want. Then go up a rung and glue another row. Make sure you stop short where you plan on creating an opening or door. Third row, glue the cubes down but misalign them slightly a hair toward the center of the circle. With each row keep moving inward toward the center. The cubes will start to form a dome. 2/3rds up, stop. Take your paper bowl, and trim the top off, and make sure it can sit on top of the lower half of the wall you just built. Once you have it to the right size so it sits on top to create a top, start gluing sugar cubes around the outside of the bowl. When covered, glue the top to the bottom cubes. Next, where you left the opening or door, cut and bend an arch of card stock around the opening, and make some flaps on the bottom edges so you can glue it down in place. Glue sugar cubes along the card stock following your arc. You now have your door.

Next, glue your fluffy ploy fill, fake fuzzy snow or cotton balls. Create mounds and hills. Stop short at a certain point to allow the "ice surface" of the water to show through. On the ice half, glue chunks of styrofoam as if they are icebergs frozen in the water. Now you have the base of your diorama. Now have some fun.

Create a lightable fire! We found a cool finger flashlight in the dollar bins at the craft store. We glued it to a card stock circle base, and drew "wood" on the card stock. Using a glue gun, we built a mound of clear plastic beads of red, orange and yellow. This is your fire. Evidently the class loved this trick.

Then using your plastic figures, put animals and eskimos where they need to be. We placed a canoe on the edge of the ice, and placed a square of cheesecloth to look like a fish net. Also grabbed a twig and some string to make a fishing pole. We sued string to also tie some dogs to a sleigh.

Finally, paint and dollop the paintable snow along the icebergs, the igloo, the ice, along the edge of the ice berg and the ice, the canoe. This ties everything together.

All done! Now wait for an A+!



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