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Spring Art Club kicked off with ceramic cups. This project was super fun and engaging. Students started off with a slab of clay. I am so grateful for my North Star Table Top Slab Roller which I purchased with SPLOST funds last year. It makes rolling slabs a breeze! I rolled the slabs in the morning so they had some time to firm up before afternoon art club.
When the kids arrived, they wrapped a plastic grocery bag around a standard sized can. Wrapping the can keeps the wet clay from sticking. They carefully wrapped their slab around the bagged can and scratch-&_attached a slab bottom.
Next it was time to decorate the cups. The kids used coils, slabs, and pinching methods to design a creative, one-of-a-kind ceramic cup.
Usually I would let a large and dense clay project like this dry out for at least a week but we were kind of in a time crunch. Luckily, there was a nice sunny day the next day and I set the cups outside to dry. (pictured below with some second grade sundials)
I fired them veeeerrrrry slowly in the kiln and luckily there were no explosions. The kids were so excited to paint the next week!
These turned out super fantastic, they will be perfect for holding pens & pencils or other trinkets!
❤ Mrs. K
First graders had a blast sculpting these ceramic flowers! We began with a chunk of clay that was rolled into a sphere. Students used their shoe to press it flat and create texture. This experience was quite the hit with the kiddos!
Next, students pinched and molded extra clay pieces to create petals and a center for their flower. They used tools to add more texture and designs.
The flowers went into the kiln to be bisqued and when they came out, it was time to paint. Students could choose shimmer colors or neon colors to paint their flowers.
Great job, first graders!
Now that we are in the second semester of the year, I have a brand new batch of art club kids. Their first project was to create ceramic valentines. I did a similar project with last semester’s art club kids. They made ‘ornaments.’ I have that in quotations because I will not create religious artwork in a public school – there were several non-Christian kids in the class. Also my Jewish mom would have an absolute kanipshin fit if she thought I was having my students make religious-based artwork so I promise to y’all and to you Mom, that these are not specifically ornaments. 🙂
Anyhow, we began with a slab that students could pretty much decorate however they wanted. In the winter, most of them were created with the intention of being given as a gift so many of the kids made them personalized. For valentines day, they traces a heart template and then added details with texture or building little things on.
After all of the pieces went through the kiln, students colored on them with crayons and then painted with India Ink or watercolor to create a lovely resist effect.
They twisted colorful wires on to hang up.
Aren’t they super cute?!
Art club is currently working on panda paintings right now so be on the lookout for a blog post about those soon 🙂
❤ Mrs. K
A few weeks ago I read in my school’s weekly blast that second grade was learning about sundials and that they would be creating their own sundials. I was immediately inspired to collaborate with the grade 2 team to create a cross-curricular clay sundial. This project was easy-peasy. On day one, we talked about the science behind sundials. When I showed students the example, they asked why aren’t there numbers on it. During my research prepping for this, I discovered that to make a sundial that actually works, you have to go outside and measure the sun every hour. I explained to my second graders that since art is only 45 minutes long, we would be doing texture instead of numbers.
So on the first day, students got a slab of clay and a circle template. They cut out a circle and smoothed the edges. Then they used a bunch of different texture stamp thingies to create texture on their slab.
Before the discs went into the kiln, I poked a hole in the center with a straw. Here they are after being bisqued:
Students got to choose what color straw they wanted and I hot glued it into the center.
These were finished by coloring on the surface with crayons and then painting over the crayon with tempera paint. This created a neat resist effect.
It was so fun to collaborate and create something that encompasses science and art. I love doing these kinds of projects because they really strengthen overall learning.
Great job second graders!
❤ Mrs. K
Greetings from the art room! I wanted to share the ceramic artwork my kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders have been working on. All of the following projects are twists on lessons I have taught in the past so I won’t go into too much detail here, (except for 2nd grade’s turtles). Click the links below to see the step-by-step process for each project 🙂
Last year when I did penguins with my kinders we used tempera paint and glitter to paint them. I had a lot of kids request to use more colors than just black, white, and orange so this year we painted them with watercolor. I love the multi-colored designs!
I think I have read the Rainbow Fish out loud to kids at least a thousand times. I know all of the words to the story without even looking at the pages – it is one of my absolute favorite childhood books. This year’s 1st graders were so inspired by the beautiful sparkly illustrations. They were super excited to use Sax Versa Temp Pearlescent Paint and Sax Versa Temp Metallic Paint to paint their creations. One group ended up needing 2 class periods to paint so when they finished on the second day, they created a pyramid “habitat” for their rainbow fish.
2nd Grade Turtles
I have been collecting turtles since I was a little kid. I brought my turtle collection into school to sit on my windowsill and the kids have been going bonkers over all of them. 2nd graders were so thrilled to make their very own ceramic turtles. We began with a pinch pot which we then added features to by doing scratch & attach.
They added all kinds of cutie details like hats, bows, soccer balls, and even baby turtles. The turtles were completed with Sax Versa Temp Fluorescent Paint.
Last year’s batch of 3rd grade animal faces came out great. I decided that it would be helpful for students to use a template for their slab so I die-cut a bunch of circles that they could trace. This ended up being super helpful to manage the size of the final clay projects.
3rd graders could choose to use the neon or the shimmery colors to paint their animal faces.
Lions and tigers and bears OH MY:
Dragon, Monkey, Koala:
A uni-bear, a spider, and a squid:
For more clay projects, check out THIS POST with 4th & 5th grade’s clay projects 🙂
❤ Mrs. K
Clay is my FAVORITE. I love how clay awakens senses that are not always activated in the art room – it feels interesting in your hands and smells like the earth or a river or a rainy day. Clay is so special because many of my students only get to use it once a year, in my classroom. In the past I have done clay projects where every student makes a version of the same object. This year, I wanted to challenge myself and my students to have more of a choice-based opportunity for exploring and creating with clay. I was apprehensive at first because so much can go wrong with clay as a material. It can dry out too quickly while you work with it or too slowly before it goes into the kiln. It can ‘explode’ inside of the kiln. It can break or shatter or bottom out. With so many ways that things could go wrong, I was determined to set up the unit with as much structure as possible to help things go right. And I must say — it was an incredible success! To be honest, I am astonished at how smooth, fun, and efficacious the entire process was. So — here is how I did it. . . .
On day one we talked about the rules for clay. No clapping your hands to make dust, no covering your hands with water to make mud, no stabbing the clay with the tools, no spaghetti-noodle stick out pieces (which would inevitable snap off and break) no giant solid chunky pieces (which would inevitably explode), absolutely NO throwing clay, etc.
The first day also had some clay challenges for students to complete. They had to create a pinch pot, a coil, a slab, and scratch and attach. If there was time after the rules and challenges, students could explore with clay on their own. If they ended up creating something on that first day they could keep it or save it. Most of the kids ended up “trashing” their clay but there were some who started or completed a mini project that first day.
On day two students sketched their idea for their project. They were required to label their sketch with what clay form would be used to build it. For example if a kid was making a tea cup, they had to label it “pinch pot” and “coil.” They did not use clay at all this day, I emphasized that it was important to have a detailed blue-print of how they would be constructing their project because since there were so many different ideas it would be impossible for me to sit with everyone and help them build. They had to be a little independent for this one!
On day three each student got a pre-cut chunk of clay. They could get more if they needed. Having the clay already measured out really seemed to help with size management. I kept all of the chinks of clay in a big plastic bin and sprayed them lightly with water. I would usually prepare the clay in the morning or even the day before so this was super helpful for keeping clay fresh.
Students had that entire third day to build their designs. Many of them quickly realized that their ideas were too ambitious. So – the backup plan for everyone was to make a pinchpot or a cupcake. I showed every class how to create a pinchpot/coil cupcake just in case students ended up needing an idea to fall back on. We talked about how it is ok if an art idea doesn’t work out the way you intended, all artists go through a trial and error process! I think that having a backup plan helped kids from getting too discouraged if their initial idea didn’t work out. And some kids even chose to do a cupcake as their first choice design!
Since this was so personalized, several popular themes emerged. Most of the creations seemed to fall into the following categories: food, pop culture, animals, and sports.
Lots of pizza:
Memes & Minions:
SpongeBob & The Flash:
Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, & BayMax:
There were tons of great slab constructed projects:
And many creations that combined construction techniques:
My favorite thing about this process is that students were able to have a deeply personal connection with their work. The kids got to create something that expressed their interests, hobbies, and passions. Each and every project is as unique as the kid who made it. Navigating the logistics and organization of this project has inspired me to do more choice-based projects in the future. 🙂
❤ Mrs. K
Last year, I made clay animals with kindergarten for their PBL unit. This year I did the same thing with 1st graders. Students got to choose from a lion, a turtle, an owl, or a komodo dragon. They researched the animal in their home rooms ad came to art to build their animal out of clay.
The day that we constructed the animals was crazy. It was a huge logistical challenge to teach 4 different clay forms with details in 45 minutes AND help every kid AND clean up the mess. It helped to have the students sit in groups so they could help each other. Nevertheless, everyone was able to create a clay creature. Once they went through the bisque kiln, first graders used tempera paints to paint their creations.
They turned out spectacular!
When they took them back to their classrooms, they built a habitat diorama. I was thrilled to see that they incorporated some of the skills they have learned in the art room to create their projects!
They even made 2D versions for a display:
This project was awesome. The connection with their classroom learning made the students very engaged in the work and excited to create. I always appreciate the opportunity to collaborate!
❤ Ms. K
This project is amazing!!!!! I love giving students the opportunity to have their own choice and voice in art and this one was supper successful with that. On the first day, students used handouts, drawing books, and iPads to sketch an animal face.
On the second day, 3rd graders cut out the shape of their animal’s face and scratched and attached to add details. They could choose any animal the wanted and had to work really hard to identify and utilize the shapes that make up that animal’s face.
After a bisque firing in the kiln, the animal faces were ready to be glazed. Third graders really blew me away with their creativity and problem solving with this project. They came up with some really neat creatures!
🙂 🙂 🙂
I did 2 different projects with 4th grade this year for their clay unit. Friday classes always fall behind schedule because of random breaks, teacher work days and all kinds of things. So with my Friday class I wanted to do a quick clay project so that their clay wouldn’t dry out in between all the times we will be able to see each other. We made neon clay turtles and they are amazing! Here is my sample:
On the first day, 4th graders pinched out a pinch pot and created coils for the head and legs of their turtle. They also added details by building or carving. After going through the kiln, the turtles were ready to be painted with neon tempera paints. They are so psychedelic!
The other 4th grade classes had a bit more time so we took a few weeks to create clay goblets. I really loved doing these with 4th grade because many of the remembered making coil pots in 3rd grade and pinch pots in k-2nd grade so they were able to use prior knowledge in their work.
On the first day, students made coils. They could lay their coils flat on top of each other like snakes or create spiral coils that are upright. I don’t have any pictures of this step because I was rollin’ coils like a madwoman! In order to get the correct circumference of their form, they wrapped their bottom flat coil around a small cup. When class was over, students placed their coil forms (finished or not) in a labeled Ziploc bag to be stored for next time.
On the second day, students carefully removed their coils from the bag. They got a new piece of clay and created a pinch pot. Then they “scratched and attached” their pinch pot to their coils to create a goblet. If there was enough time left, they could add handles or other details. Once they finished, they wrote their name and number on a slip of paper so I could carve it into the bottom.
After a bisque firing in the kiln, students were able to glaze their pottery. I like to put one color on each table and have the kids carefully move around the room to use the colors of their choice.
These turned out to be really beautiful. I think the students enjoyed creating someting functional 🙂