Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kindergarten Clay

We just finished our clay lessons in Kindergarten.  Oh what fun!  I love teaching properties (in basic terms!) to students this age.  Most of the students have a very good idea of what clay is, but to discuss how it goes in the big clay oven (KILN!) and how it changes colors and levels of hardness is pretty incredible.  They seem to understand and take in all of this information, almost as if I were giving them the secrets to a magic trick.  I just love this!

To start out, we make pinch pots.  I found this incredible video a few years back that I show to kindergarteners, first graders and even some second graders.  It's fun and quick.  Take a look by clicking here.

Rolling the clay into a sphere, sticking in their thumb, forming their pot and having all the freedom to decorate it just make this lesson and this creative experience so much fun to watch.

The next day, when we review how the clay should have changed since I put them into the kiln, the kids are still amazed at the transformation of their pot.  We discuss how glaze is different than paint.  This year, I had each table glaze with the same color.  I usually let them choose from multiple colors, but for the sake of efficiency, I did it this way and I actually like how they turned out better than the haphazard-looking multicolored little pots of the past.

This is the same day that we discuss texture and how we can make real textures by using our shoes to make an imprint on the clay.  Some students made many, many textured pieces, while others were very meticulous about just a few.  They choose their favorite and I used a straw to punch a hole in it.

The following day, we painted their textured pendants with tempera cakes.  They were amazed at how fast these dried - literally as they were holding them.  Because of this quickness, they were able to paint the entire pendant, create patterns using plastic beads, and string them all to create a beautiful necklace in one class.  It's been my joy to see these students wearing these precious necklaces in the hallways over the past week!

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