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I love hearing what you all do with your elementary kids. Keep sending in
your thoughts and ideas about how and what you are teaching!
I just did a great 5 week clay unit with 5 - 10 year olds. I got the idea
from a fellow college student many years ago. The Unit is called Building a
Neighborhood. And that's what we did. First we talked about communities,
listing things important to have in a community and why. (I loved the ideas
that these kids came up with--what is important to adults is not always what
is important to kids!)
Then we proceeded to build a neighborhood. Through the process of making
houses, flag poles, bushes, zoo cages, patio furniture (and on and on...) they
learned the qualities of clay, the various basic clay construction techniques,
the metamorphisis of the wet clay-to dry-to bisque-to glazed.
For the last class we set up our neighborhood on a table using our finished
pieces, colored paper, markers, collage materials and props. We invited
parents, siblings, grandparents and friends and had a mini art opening serving
orange juice pretzels and cookies. Each child talked about the work they did
and just beamed! Highly successful and lots of fun. I recommend this
approach to beginning clay with young children.