Level IV-Art Lesson 2: The Chinese Horse
Learn to draw a majestic terra cotta horse that was buried with a Chinese emperor
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 6 through adult.
Art Lesson Description:
If you drew the Chinese Horse’s Head in Lesson III-3, you have probably already learned about Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who had an enormous army of terra cotta warriors and horses buried with him. The horse used in this lesson is a copy of one of the horses in that army, and is the same horse that was used in Lesson III-3. If you have not already drawn the horse’s head in Lesson III-3, you are encouraged to draw the head, since doing so will make drawing the whole horse easier.
The lesson uses the same kind of colored background, gold paint pen, and charcoal white pencil as was used in Lesson III-3, in order to make an elegant, regal-looking horse. We think you will be surprised at how “horse-like” your horse will look!
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the horse.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- 1 Chinese whole horse warm-up (included in the lesson)
- 1 fine tipped black magic marker
- 1 sheet of 8 ½” x 11” red or other regal colored paper
- 1 gold paint pen
- 1 charcoal white pencil
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
Social Studies: Learn an elementary version of the history of the Qin Dynasty by clicking here. For more in-depth details:
- A Dynasty map.
- A Dynasty history.
- Learn about life in ancient China.
- The Qin Dynast lasted from 221-206 BCE. Find out what was happening in the rest of the world at that time.
- Play a game to learn more about China.
The Forbidden City:The horse we are drawing in this lesson is a copy of a statue from the Ming Dynasty, which built the Forbidden City in Beijing. Enjoy pictures and a history of the Forbidden City.
- Watch a video about the Great Wall of China.
- Learn brief facts about the Great Wall.
- See Activity Village's educational site about the Great Wall.
- UNESCO has several brief videos showing spectacular views of the wall--just pictures and music, no commentary.
Terra Cotta Army:
- Read Terra-Cotta Soldiers: Army of Stone (High Interest Books: Digging Up the Past) by
- Learn about Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi and how his terra cotta army was created.
- Learn details about the terra cotta army.
- 5 facts about the army and the emperor.
- Find a good picture of the terra cotta army.
- Watch a brief video telling about the terra cotta army and how it was created.
- Watch a longer video about the army, how it was created, and what we can learn from the army.
- Watch a Smithsonian video about the army and its discovery.
Writing: Find out about the history of the Great Wall of China or the terra cotta army and write about what you learn.
Art and Music:
- Color has symbolic meaning in China. What do advertisers need to know about color in order to advertise in China?
- Listen to music from the Qing Dynasty.
- Watch a dance from the Qing Dynasty. What does it tell you about the people of that time?
Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:
- Introduction through guided drawing: 40 minutes
- Finishing the drawing: 25 minutes
- Total time: 65 minutes