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1) Give each student a 4x4" slab of red clay (have done it with white,
and glazed in color, too). They have pre designed their sun on paper
and cut out a template (or you can make some). Lay the template over
the clay and cut out with a plastic knife. Save the scraps.
2) Wad up a couple of paper towels and place beneath the face of the
sun. This will give the sun more depth as it dries.
3) Use the scraps you cut off to make the features. Build up the face
with these. Use a straw to cut two holes for hanging in one of the top
spines of the sun. These can be fired and left terra cotta or you can
glaze them with clear glaze.
When I have done this with white clay, we mixed up yellow and orange and
blue and pink glazes that they could use. They turned out nice.
Some kids added just the facial features, some added coils in wavy,
snake-like designs radiating from the suns, some put little "dots" on
the sun's rays, etc. They get very creative. We take a whole class
period before hand talking about the design and letting them make their
template. I show many examples: some are more "sun looking" with a
circular middle and triangular rays, some have rectangular rays, some
have combinations, one has a diamond middle and extra triangles coming
off, kind of like a Jewish star, etc. The students also come up with
great ones. Its a fun lesson that they really love.
I have some of those coconut masks from Mexico in my room that I use to
stimulate the discussion as well.