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Activities (Part 2)
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Activities section:   Part 1  |  Part 2


A chop is a type of stamp that functions as a signature. Chops were used by artists, craftsmen, merchants, and government officials, including the emperor. They are an especially important source of documentation of works of art. For example, a painting would bear the chops of the artist and every person who owned the work. An emperor's chop was a symbol of great power. Anyone who controlled it had control over royal decrees. It was kept in a special box and handled only by the most trusted advisers and the emperor himself. Chops are still used today on artworks and as brand marking on products. Something described as "first chop" is of the highest quality.


small cardboard squares; bar of soap, wax, or linoleum
scissors, knife, or linoleum cutter
glue (if using cardboard)
stamp pad
paper for printing

Procedure: Have the students design their own chops using their name, initials, or symbols special to them (animals, logos, sporting equipment, musical instruments, etc.). If using letters or numbers, be sure to draw them in reverse (use a mirror).

Follow up: Print each student's chop and display them in the classroom. Allow students to "sign" their papers with their chops.

Discussion: How can you use your chop? Are there advantages to using chops or symbols instead of names? (Think of product logos and how they are used.) Would your chop be recognizable in all languages?



Three-legged bronze wine and food vessels were common during the Shang and Zhou dynasties. They were beautiful and elegant objects unmatched in the rest of the world at that time. The vessels were decorated with animal motifs, especially birds, and abstract designs. Today, many Chinese still place offerings in bronze vessels at their shrines.


mixing bowl
9-10 sheets of newspaper, ripped into 1" strips
3 toilet paper tubes
1 cup flour
1-1/2 cups water
index card, cut in half
yarn and white glue
blue-green acrylic paint
non-stick cooking spray

Procedure: Spray the outside of the bowl with cooking spray. Make a thin paste with the flour and water. Dip the paper strips into the paste and cover the bowl, using overlapping layers. Wipe excess paste off as you work. Let dry and repeat the process two more times. Carefully remove the shell. Tape half of the index card to each side of the bowl for handles and the three tubes to the bottom for legs. Cover the seams where the cards and tubes attach with additional strips of paper and paste. When it's dry, carefully draw your designs on the bowl and glue yarn over the lines. Paint the vessel blue-green to look like aged bronze. Don't forget to mark it with your chop!

Discussion: What types of offerings do you think would be placed in the vessels? Do people in our culture make offerings? For what reasons?



  • Chinese paper cuts
  • Chinese embroidery
  • Chinese foods and cooking
  • Clothing
  • Chinese macramé
  • Puppetry
  • Chinese Lanterns
  • Tangrams
  • Magic squares
  • Chinese colors and symbols
  • Chinese dance and music
  • *See the Resource List

Activities section:   Part 1   |   Part 2

Kentucky Horse Park
International Museum of the Horse

The Millennium's First Great
International Exhibition

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