Sunday, December 18, 2016

Clay Hearts

I have been doing this project for years. I remember attending a planning day in my district and everyone brought finished clay projects to share along with directions. I'm pretty sure this lesson came from a magazine article and I apologize up front about not finding the original source.

It's a great beginner lesson, it introduces some key vocabulary words, but I'm beginning to think all the prep involved is just too much!

The first week students practice with Play Doh. Meanwhile, if I'm lucky, I get the older students to trace hearts onto scrap laminate film and a parent to add student names and class codes, color coordinated to match the table they sit at. (Makes it faster to hand out.)

I put down plastic tablecloths and clay boards. When students come in I model for them using the following vocabulary words: wedge, coil, sphere, smooth, thick, thin..........

 They are to use a coil to outline the heart and then spheres and coils to fill in the heart.

 Then they need to smooth it out. Interestingly they are working front to back. In other words, the front is touching the laminate film, so they need to turn it over to see what it looks like.

Then they place it on a wooden board, where I need to continue smoothing it out for them. And some of them, need clay added to the back to make it thicker so it won't break and I scratch their name and class code onto it. (Using the point of a compass.)

When they are dry enough, they get loaded into the kiln and fired. Which takes a full day.

Then students colored them with oil pastels. I attached some raffia and voilĂ .

 Some students wanted an antique finish, I used watered down black tempera for that.

They were then wrapped with a piece of cardboard and donated bubble wrap in bulletin board paper to hopefully get home in one piece.

They really do come out beautiful......
Normally I would do this with kindergarten students, but since I haven't done clay in 2 school years I opted to do it with k-2nd. I felt they needed to catch up. Last year I got hurt before I started clay and the year before we were in the middle school and access to the kiln was difficult. Soooo I think I see more clay in the future since I managed to use my new kiln without blowing up the school!

What's your favorite one day clay lesson?

Thanks for reading!  Hope this week, for those of us working, goes fast!! Happy Holidays!

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