The fourth graders created clay license plates this year. I thought these were so fun. The kids had to choose a word or phrase for their license plate. They also had to stamp into the clay creating textures or drawing into the clay. They were also required to create at least three “add ons,” smaller items created out of clay and then attached to their flat piece of clay. I love how these turned out.
Fourth grade did a weaving project using straws as their loom. Although you can make a loom out of many things I’ve found the straws to be a cheap and effective way to show the students how to build a loom. The students created pockets with their weaving, and we talked about how this type of art is very functional. Some students added a closure to the top, while others left it open with only ties along the side.
The fourth graders created these awesome patterned cactus using sharpie and watercolor. They were given a quick demonstration on how to draw different types of cactus, as well as a visual of a variety of cactus to draw from if they chose to. We then talked about creating patterns aiming for 50% of the pattern to be black and the other 50% to be white. Students were able to choose whatever colors they wanted to paint, but were advised to think about contrast.
Fourth graders created these awesome plates full of clay food. They are required to have a plate (or a bowl if they wish) that has at least three items on it. We talk about how they can personalize these items to their liking – foods they like for example. Their food items can either be a complete meal or they could simply be their favorite things to eat (pizza, french fries and cake!). Other options could be a whole dessert plate – yum! The kids get very creative with this, I’ve seen baked potatoes, cinnamon rolls, hamburgers, even sushi!
I usually save the clay projects for the end of the year because the kids are always so engaged when doing clay. There are many frustrations with ceramics, things falling apart or things breaking, so the kids have to be really resilient! Organization is key to getting almost 600 pieces fired and back to the kids without losing anything! I love when we get to the glazing stage because opening the kiln to all the beautiful, shiny colors is so fun. It is also amazing to see the kids express their delight when they see how beautiful their projects turned out!