Lots and lots


white clay – wet

white clay – drying


white clay – dry


red clay – drying


red clay – fired!


During the month of January children in first, second and third grades have been exploring the possibilities and limitations of clay focusing on using our hands as tools. We will continue to practice basic techniques for shaping balls, rolling coils, pinching pots and pressing slabs. Also, we are learning how to properly use and care for a variety of clay tools.

Week 1:  Explore:

Pinch, pat, pull apart, roll, and squish the clay together.

Using your hands, change the shape of the clay to show your idea.

Pass the “pick up” test.

Week 2 – Practice:

Draw different kinds of lines with a clay drawing tool.

Stamp designs with plaster and clay stamps.

Cut out shapes with metal shape cutters.

Explore textures with wooden tools.

Design a clay heart using the techniques above.

Pass the pick up test.

Week 3 – Assemble – parts to whole:

Envision an idea for a clay snowman, snowcat, bear or other animal.

Practice the “scratch and attach” technique.  (Scratch, scratch, wet, attach.)

Starting with balls and coils, model the body parts.

Assemble the parts together using “scratch and attach.”

Notice how parts put together make a whole object.

Pass the pick up test.

To be continued!!!

Dreaming of masks

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Grade 3

More masks

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Grade 3

Seeing masks

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Connection with third grade theme studies.

Grade 3

Wearing masks

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Connection with third grade theme.

Grade 3

Learning about clay

…Clay in one form or another covers much of the earth’s surface… In essence, all clay originates as either igneous or metamorphic rock, which is then broken down by water and ice to form clays with different characteristics.

(Clay) can be used in such an immense number of ways that the possibilities for discovery and learning are almost endless.

…The exploration of form, space, texture, weight and structure are of special value… The finest tools that we human beings have are our hands, and it is in the development of fine motor skills that clay work has a particular and special place…

Clough, Peter, Clay in the Classroom, Davis Publications, Inc., 1996.

Some of last week’s clay work has been fired in the kiln. Ask your children “How did your clay change?  How did your clay feel before firing in the kiln?  After?  What color was the clay before firing?  After?”

Grades 1, 2 and 3

Working with clay

What will your hands do with clay?

 Roll, pat, smooth, scratch, pinch, pull, press, flatten, twist, fold, balance…discover.

Grades 1, 2, 3