Thursday, May 7, 2015

Clay-D-Bugs Terrarium

Here is the 1st Grade lesson from our Art Teacher Swap.  As for building the bugs, I can only assume that they were made as a pinch pot, flipped over, than tiles and texture were added.  I came in on this project after they were made and fired.

As you can see the bugs were labeled with initials and teacher codes to fully explain to me who's was who's.  I put wax on the bottom of each bug to make sure that the glaze did not end up on the bottom.  I find this to help me out in the long run but it is not a necessary step. We glazed them with clear glaze and I think they look stunning.

Day 3 was creating their terrarium for the bugs.  My plan was to use up any thing that takes up a lot of room in my storage.  Boy do I have a lot of 'stuff'!  These terra-cotta pot bases worked perfectly for this project.  I used beans, seeds, plastic industrial thread cores, bottle tops, raffia... well... so much more.  Students could create these environments using any and all of the fun supplies.

I gave students step by step images to help them develop their ideas.  I showed them how to create a 'pool' of glue to assure that their seeds stayed in place.  I found out that the 'mushrooms' had to be the first to be glued down, and I used hot glue to help them with this.  I learned that nothing should really be taller than the mushroom.  I also learned gluing 'things' on your mushroom doesn't stay well.  A new 'hint' was discovered everyday.

The first day I did drying like this (see below). It took up a lot of room.  Day 2-6 I used carts, that made it easier to get the artwork back to the designated classrooms. The clay works were just finished up today and All first grade teachers are using it for Mother's Day presents.  It was a great project overall and the kids had a blast. 

I would love this to be a repeat... Mostly because I still have about 400 clay bases :) but also because the 1st grade learns about bugs.  They talk about environment and the stages of insects and butterflies.  It fit in perfectly with their unit in science class. And come on... they are stink'n adorable.  I wish I could have recorded the conversations that took place during this very open ended project.  "I'm is so creative", "Mine lives on the moon, this is a space-shroom (mushroom)",  "I love this, I love this I love this!", "Wait, Art can't be over."  Makes me love my job!

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