Understanding the anatomy of the human heart can be an essential part of a child's education. However, it can also be a difficult thing to teach if you only stick to words on a page and the occasional picture. Giving a kid the opportunity to get a bit dirty and build a model of the heart can provide an interactive way to learn about the different parts of the heart while also providing some fun in the process.
Shaping the Heart
Form the clay into the general shape and size of the heart. This will take some time if done correctly. Spending time on the initial shape and size will make the rest of the process much easier.
Use a medium sized clay carving knife to define the larger parts of the heart. The reference pictures will be very useful at this point to help with the scale of the parts of the heart.
Use a small clay carving knife to define the smaller parts of the heart and the veins. Try to keep all the edges rounded and smooth in order to stay true to the look of the heart.
Using the predetermined color key, paint the model and allow to dry.
Making the Base
Using the modeling clay, shape the base over the wooden block to look like a wide, stout volcano. The bottom will need to be at least as wide as the heart to keep the entire model stabilized. The base should be tall enough to reach at least half the distance between the bottom of the dowel and the bottom of the heart. It should also be thick enough to keep the dowel upright while supporting the model.
Smooth the clay as much as possible for ease of painting and for better aesthetics.
Paint the base. Black is usually the preferred choice for base color.
Putting the Heart Model Together
- Modeling clay
- Acrylic paint
- Paint brushes
- Clay carving knives
- Pictures of the heart with the parts labeled for reference
- 12-inch dowel rod; 1/2-inch thick
- 5-by-5-by-1-inch wooden block
- Predetermined color key for the different parts of the heart
Insert the dowel into the bottom of the heart, near the center. Push the rod in as far as it will go without punching through the top of the model.
Insert the bottom of the dowel into the center of the base and push it through until it is flush with the bottom of the base.
If the model is unsteady, build up base using more clay and repaint.
Things You'll Need
- Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images