Since the students love clay so much, I have decided to do another clay lesson with them. The first graders built on their pinch-pot skills by creating a clay "nest". They learned about texture and how texture can be seen as well as felt. They made their nests look like nests by giving them a rough texture. Then, they made a bird to go in the nest. A new skill they learned was how to make "clay glue". "Clay glue" is really called slip and is a way of joining two pieces of clay together by scoring the clay and adding water. They glued their birds in their nests using this new skill. Before creating, we read a book about birds and nests so the students could learn that not all birds and nests look the same. Some students used this knowledge to create large eagle nests and nests where the opening is on the side.
Second graders built on their pinch pot skills as well as practicing the skills previously learned of joining clay to clay. Second grade students created clay rattles and learned about the history of percussion instruments. They created two pinch pots, filled one pot with small balls of clay wrapped in paper towel, and then joined their pots together. They then decorated their rattles. The reason the small balls of clay were wrapped in paper was so the clay would not stick to itself. A rattle with nothing moving inside doesn't rattle! When the rattles are fired in the kiln the paper burns up and you are left with hard balls inside of the rattle.
While we were waiting for the clay to air-dry and be fired, 1st and 2nd graders created paper bead necklaces for their mothers. Students learned about adornment and how people in different cultures decorate themselves differently. The beads students made were made of old magazines and book covers, so this was also a lesson in reusing.
Paddock students are so artistic! As a first year teacher I often wonder if I'm giving them more than they can handle (the rattle lesson is one that is often done in high school). However, when I keep my expectations high, they always come through!