Memory Caves

Artist:  Naia del Castillo
Technique:  painting and carving
School:  CP Iruarteta
Year: 4th
Area and subjects: Social Studies: Prehistory


To analyze ways of life in Prehistory and understand how cave paintings reflected the needs and fundamentals of that society. To transfer that concept to the schoolchildren’s everyday lives.


Polystyrene in sheets and in squares of around 3 cm, cocktail sticks, balloons, printed pictures of rocks, scissors, glue, cellophane, and glitter paint.


  1. Drawing a parallel with the fact that those who lived in prehistory needed to hunt to survive, the students are asked to find pictures of the things they think are essential in their lives.
  2. In their drawings, the students emulate the stylized, schematic lines of certain cave paintings.
  3. They cut out strips of paper with photocopies of the details of a cave wall.
  4. The strips of paper are dipped in white glue and pasted over half a balloon.
  5. Once dry and hard, the balloon is burst to leave a half circle to simulate a cave.
  6. The inside is decorated with the image chosen by each student using the schematic drawing technique.
  7. Glitter paint and paint brushes are provided to make the drawing shiny.
  8. The cocktail sticks are stuck into the little polystyrene cubes to make structures starting with a square and are built up to obtain two or three stories.
  9. To hold them in place, a little hot glue is applied to the joints.
  10. The structures built with the cocktail sticks can be used to house the caves.
  11. A colored grid is designed to support the sculptures.
  12. Between them, the pupils choose a color design to be reproduced on the polystyrene with the cellophane.
  13. The cocktail stick structures are placed on the sheet and the caves are tied inside them using thread.