Posted by: keepingthemistakes | April 8, 2011

Mammals and other living things

The ceramics unit started this week, with 2nd grade mammals.  Our school has a tradition of making ceramic mammals with trioramic (? is that a word?) habitats to be displayed during a tea in May.  It’s intense and exciting.  It’s most student’s first experience with clay sculpture.  They are excited by how the clay feels and how it responds.  

The method I use is to have them “pull” the animal from their ball of clay. 

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Not the best views, but you get the idea.  I’ll bet you can even guess what some of them are!

Other art news would include printmaking with fourth grade in which at least three students purposely put printmaking ink on themselves.  Not a good day.  This class was scheduled to do clay soon, but will instead spend at least one day reading scholastic art magazine and perhaps writing a report on what they’ve learned.  I don’t like to be punitive, but when I have a class of 25+ students I have to trust that they will use supplies appropriately, right?  What are your thoughts?  How do you handle many students using supplies inappropriately? 

Kindergarten began a unit on patterns in nature, and I made a powerpoint to help show them what that means. 

Then I had them draw a pattern from nature, gave them each a dark piece of paper with a window cut in it, and assigned them a partner so they could guess what the others’ pattern was.  I want to extend the concept for another week but haven’t decided for sure what I’ll do next.  Ideas welcome 🙂

The weather here has turned spring-like, with wind storms and tornado watches.  Ahhhhhh, Kansas!



  1. Sorry to hear about the printmaking – I had 2 kids today that put a full handprint in clay slip on each other’s shirt sleeves…If I can catch them early enough in class, those students using materials inappropriately have to sit out the rest of the lesson & become a mere observer. If it happens again during the same project, they’re done w/that art project and get an alternate assignment – done in the library – to complete for their grade. Usually is a pretty good deterrent…Good Luck!

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