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Re: [teacherartexchange] K-3 Clay use and projects


From: ceastman (ceastman_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed May 10 2006 - 17:46:37 PDT

hi sarah,
i love doing clay with little kids as they are so "into it." i buy
stoneware body clay in 25lb boxes, moist and wedged. all i do is cut it
into servings for the kids and off they go. here is my standard lesson
sequence: K - roll out slabs and cut with cookie cutters to make
holiday ornaments. i use either gingerbread men or stars as they don't
necessarily have religious connotations. i almost always have volunteer
parent helpers when i do this. there are easy ways to get uniform
slabs... ask if you need more details on this. also Kdgs can learn to
score and slip pieces of clay together. i sometimes have them make
candle stick holders out of 2 stars and a coil. use a candle to poke a
hole in the center of one star, score and slip them together (can use
"grown -up needle tools" with a safety talk), hole on top, so the
points are offset (it looks like a 10-pt star), and add a short coil
around the hole. put the candle back in to see if the coil fits just
so. ta-da! name on the bottom, glaze both gingerbread man and star with
white glaze (frosting). i do clay with the Kdgs again for mother's day,
this time making a pot in a margerine tub mold. line tub with small
piece of saran wrap. give each kid a piece of clay approx 4"x4"x1".
break in half. roll 1/2 into a ball and flatten into a "hamburger" with
palm. place into saran wrap lined tub. break up remaining 1/2 of clay
and form into small balls the size of large grapes. press these against
the inside of the tub once with your thumb, making sure they attach to
the hamburger in the bottom and overlap each other. it makes a cute
little scallop-edged pot, just the right size to hold a bit of
potpourri for mom. these are glazed in choice of colors.
1st grades make a "thumb" pot. i don't use the term "pinch" pot because
they tend to pinch it to smithereens. we make balls, put in our thumbs
just like jack horner and his plum, then push with our thumbs against
the sides as we turn our pots. makes a nice, small smooth pot. tap the
bottom gently on the table to flatten it so it doesn't roll. or turn it
upside down and make a pumpkin out of it. 2nd graders make 2 thumb pots
and put them together to make animals or snow men. you have to poke a
hole (belly button) so the giant air bubble inside can escape.
3rd graders make waterlillies, turtles, frogs, or fish using the
rollers again.
make sure everything is very dry before you bisque fire it.
hope this helps.
linda in michigan

On May 10, 2006, at 3:25 PM, Sarah Critzman wrote:

> Once again I opened the kiln today and found about 10
> 1st grade projects broken! Ugh! :(
> Does anyone have any suggestions about working with
> clay and the kinder-artists? How do you go about
> wedging the clay, etc. I would also love to hear
> about some great projects for this age.
> I love clay but it can be so frustrating, messy, and
> a lot of work on my part. How can it be easier??
> Thanks!
> Sarah
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