Art is essential to learning. I like to integrate it into all we do in the classroom. Art takes many forms: writing (like the poetry we’ve been composing), music (singing and dancing), and of course, the visual arts including painting, drawing, photography…and today, clay. Art seems to release inhibitions and increase confidence when students have the space to fail…and to iterate.
We’re lucky at my school. We have access to clay, glazes, and a kiln to fire the products we make. But as the classroom teacher, I have to have enough confidence and knowledge to teach the skills and processes to my students. And I am no expert. I talked with the teacher at my site who is in charge of the clay materials and kiln about working with clay, the ideas I had in mind, and then used the internet to further explore possibilities.
Yesterday I showed my students my ideas for our clay project and a short video demonstrating the techniques they would use today. And today, I pulled out the clay and the creating began. Students created pinch pot ocean creatures. The room hummed with creativity and imagination. They supported each other, they accepted feedback, and they worked independently. They know that disaster might be around the corner as our creations hit the kiln…and they are hopeful. We’ll try a second iteration on Monday.
a malleable medium
warmed through manipulation
forming tangible objects
And a student poem about earth’s bounty:
Dragon scales tough and sharp
An artichoke with leafy greens like dragon wings
Flapping high in the wind as it soars
To a new spot with its dragon-like head.
Art and earth…and of course, day 27 of poetry!