Making a Chinese scroll – Ancient China project

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Chinese scroll project

Chinese scroll made by kids at Laurelhurst School, Portland Oregon

Chinese people began to write about 1500 BC. People usually wrote vertically, from the top of the page to the bottom in columns. They read the text beginning from the right side of the page, the reverse of what we do. After Ts’ai Lun invented paper during the Han Dynasty, about 100 AD, writers in China wrote mainly on paper scrolls.

You can make a Chinese paper scroll by cutting a brown paper grocery bag into a long strip. Glue the ends to wooden sticks. You can copy Chinese characters on to your scroll using a paintbrush and black paint or ink.

You can make the scroll look old by soaking it in tea or coffee. Burn the edges a little with a candle (this will work better when the paper is still wet from soaking it).

Or, try to get a shoulder bone from your butcher (or make one out of clay) and carve characters on it to make an oracle bone.

Other activities:

* Paper-making
* Making a compass

Bibliography and further reading about the history of paper:

History of Paper
More China projects
More about ancient China
Quatr.us home

By | 2017-06-09T23:00:02+00:00 June 9th, 2017|China, Crafts|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Making a Chinese scroll – Ancient China project. Quatr.us Study Guides, June 9, 2017. Web. January 19, 2018.

About the Author:

Karen Carr
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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