Thursday, June 23, 2011

Second Grade Ceramic Birds

 One of 2nd grades big science units is Birds. So- we made ceramic birds!

I actually got this idea from a fellow art teacher in my district.

We started out by learning about John James Audubon. I couldn't find a book that was at a 2nd grade level, so we only got to look at artwork.

Then I had the students practice drawing different kinds of birds in their sketchbooks, focusing on the forms (cones, cylinders, spheres, etc).

The next week, was clay week! This in probably the students favorite time of the year. They look forward to clay and are constantly asking when we are going to do our clay project. So they were ready to go!!!

I gave them 2 pieces of clay and had them make 2 pinch pots (reminding them that we had made pinch pots when we were in kindergarten).

Then I showed them how to connect the 2 pots together by pulling the clay with their thumb from 1 pot to the other.
 Then they used their wet hands to smooth the form into a sphere. Some went with more of an ovoid shape (they wanted to make penguins).

I had them take their pencil and poke a hole in the bottom. We had a discussion about how the clay needed the hole so that it wouldn't explode in the kiln. They thought that was cool, until I explained that if 1 exploded, it would break the others around it- not so cool anymore!

I gave them a third piece of clay to make wings, head, beak, tail and any other features that they wanted to add to their bird.

I showed them how to score their pieces and we talked about what would happen if they were not properly attached.

As they finished them, they brought them to me, I used a paperclip to carve their initials and class code into the bottom and set them on their shelf to dry.
I fired the birds and then they were ready to glaze. For glazing, I had egg cartons that I had cut in 1/2 on each table. I tried to give each table a different combination of colors so that they would all look different.
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