Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Clay Castles and Coat of Arms by 4th Grade

This student had just moved from Japan.
What an amazing example of a Japanese castle!!!

 I love clay. I like how it feels. I like how it smells. I like how many things can be done with it. The custodian does NOT like how, even after a thorough cleaning, it still gets tracked out of my room and down the hall. 99.9% of kids tend to agree with my assessment of clay. It's just plain fun.

Castles are an ever popular project at Thomas. It's a lesson I wrote while I was student teaching many moons ago and is the only lesson from that time that I've held onto. By 4th grade, students at Thomas have had experience with basic forms, attaching with scoring, wedging, and basic sculpture. This combines some of those skills and adds the concept of slab construction. 

I really like to use square dowels from the hardware store in order to get the thickness for the slab. There are other products out there, but the dowels have always worked perfectly for my students. 

The variety of artwork is pretty awesome with this project. No two castles are ever the same. Some students get more advanced and wind up with time to make a removable roof (lid) for their castles. The coat of arms winds up being a fancy way of making a name label. It adds some class to the whole project. 

Click here to download my lesson plan!

No comments: