Thursday, April 26, 2012

4th Grade Clay Castles & Coat of Arms

Wow. Beautiful design! 
I love clay. If I could do clay projects all year I would seriously think about it. I tend to schedule my clay projects toward the end of the year because it is convenient to have everything at school for the art show. This project is one that I tried out during student teaching many years ago and have continued because my students enjoy it so much. 

We study castles from all over the world and each student designs their own castle. Using a slab building technique, they spend about five classes building their castles, adding details, and glazing. Last year, I decided to have each student make a small coat of arms while we were waiting for the castles to dry and be bisque fired. In addition to looking really cool, the coat of arms also serve as a name tag for the castles at the art show. All of the lower grades constantly ask about when they get to make clay castles. First graders are really bummed out that they have to wait for so long! 

Here is the lesson plan!


Pat said...

A very impressive lesson plan, sir. I have gotten very lazy with proper lesson planning over the years. It's nice to know that you young'uns are our future in art education and you can write kick ass lesson plans! The castles and coat of arms are great and I love the colors of glazes that the kids chose. Nice!

Zach Stoller said...

I have used the blog as a tool to force me to write out my plans. Otherwise, I fall into that same trap of getting too busy to write proper plans. I know I still have several plans laying around that are just sketched onto the back of a handout!

Amaco said...

AMACO loves to see clay projects, and this is a great one! If you'd like to work with us on developing lesson plans or new ideas, let us know. We're always looking for teacher input.

Zach Stoller said...

Thanks, AMACO! These clay castles (and of of my other glazed work) were all glazed with AMACO glazes! I'd love to help develop some ceramic lessons for you. Who should I contact to get that started?