Thursday, December 26, 2013

Clay Snowmen

Here are a few reasons why I love this third grade clay snowmen project:

  • It is a simple clay project that can be made in one 40 minute class
  • It is a great confidence builder and practice with slip and score (we say scratch and attach)
  • It is a great project that reinforces molding and pinching clay 
  • This project doesn't require a lot of clay or underglazes and glaze
  • Nice review of firing process
  • Great starter project for review before a bigger clay project later in the year
  • The kids LOVE them
  • They always turn out great

Winter Starry Night

My second grade students looked at Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night picture.  We used cray-pa and watercolor resist to create our night skies and then collaged our trees and villages on top.  Details were then added with color pencil. We also used white paint for snow and a little glitter glue to add sparkle to the moon and stars. 
I tried to encourage my students to add some things that they noticed about van Gogh's artwork into their own.  Many of them added texture, used different lines similar to his brushstrokes, and added different shades of colors in the sky, stars and trees.

As a review we used the app Popplet on the iPad to make mind-maps about what inspired them about starry night.

Snowmen at Night

My fourth grade students created these snowmen pictures after looking at the books Snowmen at Christmas and Snowmen at Night written by Mark & Caralyn Buehner.  We loved looking at all the different kinds of snowmen and how they captured the look of reflected light in the illustrations.  I asked my students to sketch some different kinds of snowmen and think about how they positioned them on their paper.  We talked about cropping their sketches or zooming in.    I also showed them how to blend with the cray-pa and we talked about how shading helps make things look more three-dimensional and realistic.  The pictures really came out great.  The kids worked hard on them.  This has been one of my favorite lessons to teach.  Just be prepared to go through a lot of white cray-pa!

Here are some pictures of our snowmen.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Clay Texture Hands

First grade students had fun experimenting with creating textures in clay.  Each students made 2 hands; one to keep for a small bowl and 1 to be part of a class bowl. I had a senior from the high school come and do this project with us.  She created the bowl with the kids extra hand.  The extra hand gave the kids a chance to experiment a little more.  They were also given a small piece of practice clay to use before they started with their hands.  This was also a great introduction to the clay process.  They learned about the kiln and the glazes.  
I saw this idea on Pinterest this summer and when I was asked to have a senior come and work with students I knew this would be a great project for it.  Here are the two links that I found on Pinterest.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fourth Grade Coil Pots

My fourth grade students have just finished making coil pots.  They really enjoyed this lesson and their pots came out great.  The students were given one class to practice rolling and building with coils.  Groups of four or five students created one pot together.  Some of the things I asked them to focus on were; rolling even coils, making coils the proper thickness, remembering to scratch and attach, and building a pot that was stable.  The following art class each student created their own pot with the same criteria.  They were encouraged to be as creative as they wanted as long as the pot was well built and finished in the 40 minute class.  After the pots were fired the students sketched design ideas before under glazing and glazing their pots.  We also had some fun with the pottery app on the ipads.  I talked to them about other ways to create pots out of clay and showed them someone making a bowl on the potters wheel.  The kids loved using the app to create their own piece of pottery.  It was a fun connection for them.