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clay rattles

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From: Patty Phillips (plphillips_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 18:16:13 PST


When I taught elementary art, my fifth graders made clay rattles. (While I read When Clay Sings.) I stressed how art functions as part of ceremony, especially in certain cultures. Students made rattles of white clay, we covered them with red slip and scratched Native American symbols into them to create our own ceremonial rattles. The rattle I made as an example had symbols that related to the sun and warmth and good weather. It was February and we had a long, cold winter that year. The kids thought that was really interesting. I allowed them to create some symbols of their own too. While rattles fired, students wrote a descriptions of the ceremony in which their rattle would be used. They loved this lesson!!! It turned out to be one of those "privilege lesson". You had to be a fifth grader to have the "privilege" of doing this. Don't you love it!!

Patty Phillips

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