This week my students have enjoyed sculpting and painting mini pinch pots for their mums in anticipation of Mothers’ Day.
We used Das air dry clay in both white and terracotta and I allowed for roughly 200 grams of clay per student. The instructions for the pinch pots were very straightforward, we simply rolled the clay into a ball then stuck in our thumb to create a hole. Then, by holding the clay in one hand and turning it constantly, we were able to use our other hand to thin and even out the edges of the pot. Some students were especially creative and turned theirs into heart shapes or their mother’s initial. Others used tools such as wooden skewers and texta lids to make patterns and marks in their designs.
I was able to discuss connections with this project and our new science unit ‘Materials and Their Properties’ by teaching new vocabulary such as ‘malleable’ and ‘pliable’. It’s always nice when topics are interrelated!
After two days of drying (the weather has been cold lately) we were ready to paint. We opted for neon colours as well as some beautiful metallic copper, gold and silver paints.
There were some beautiful results!
Although they may look like glued together piles of junk, rest assured our students were immensely proud of their Push and Pull Machines. In yet another Scrapheap Challenge, this one at the commencement of our science unit on forces, students’ teamwork skills were put to the test to design a device which incorporated both a push and pull force.
Miss M’s Grade 4 class were learning about contact and non-contact forces. As a tuning-in activity, students were given a paperclip, a magnet and a shoebox lid. Their design brief was to create a maze for their paperclip to travel through, guided by the non-contact force of the magnet. Of course, things got pretty creative straight away with water jumps, tunnels, bridges and race tracks incorporated into plans. This exploration phase of the lesson raised many questions for the budding scientists, which they later went on to test (Will the paperclip make it up the slope with a stronger magnet? Will magnetic force work in water?). They only had 20 minutes to complete the task, but they would have happily worked on their designs all day.
We studied the fact that all living things are made of cells. We looked at lettuce leaves under the microscope and were inspired to create crayon and dye wash artworks of their findings.
The highlight of our life cycles science unit was our mini tadpole pond. Fresh lettuce was brought in each day to keep them well fed (or begged from the canteen when we forgot). We kept them for close observation until they looked ready to escape. At this point we returned them to the very pond from which they were taken.
To celebrate the end of our science unit on forces we performed our own version of the Cantina scene from Star Wars. This ‘deleted scene’ focussed on Luke Skywalker’s quest for the meaning of the force with various aliens providing ‘educational’ suggestions. Of course it was an excellent opportunity for artistic set design and prop making. Check out this paper Chewbacca mask and fully robotic R2D2 (powered by a remote control car). All credit to Mr Jensen, another incredible prac student, and his team of diehard student helpers for the amazing R2!
With our extremely talented, sculptor-by-trade, prac student, Miss Purcell, our students were inspired by an art table filled with colourful, cellphones, tissue papers, glitters, straws, pipe cleaners, paints and other Scrapheap materials. The base for their spring flowers was a paper plate. As part of our science unit on living things and life cycles students had learnt the parts of a flower – stamen, petals, pistil and sepal, and were asked to incorporate these features into their sculptures.
Combine your science unit on living things and life cycles with that well-loved festival of new growth otherwise known as Easter. Students fill their pot with soil and grass seeds and graph the growth of their sprouts over the following days. Send home filled with mini chocolate eggs ready for the Easter break.