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<< found chunks of damp clay in a freshly completed highway road cut (where
the highway builders dynamite a part of a hill or mountain to make the road
level). These damp, soft chunks seem about the right consistency for students'
clay projects. I wondered, could I use these clays as is and fire them? >>
When a recent development went up near our home (upstate ny) my Third grade
daughter reveled in the "clay" she found at the site. I saw no reason to stop
her as she collected a big bucket of it and brought it home. She and her
sister played for days, making bowls, pinch pots, and all sorts of
stuff...letting them "bake" in the sun on boards. They crumbled later...but
they were totally engrossed, and I found I relaxed more (perhaps because of
the cost!) and let them just explore and experience the material. Grab that
clay, and use it with your younger grades! Maybe the "cost" will find you
more relaxed in guiding their hands on experiences.