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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Clay Workshops at the Cummer

This past Planning Day I was priviledged to be able to teach three clay workshops to fellow Elementary Art Teachers on using the "Hollow Egg" technique of clay handbuilding. What an honor, as my colleagues are amoung the BEST art teachers in the state of Florida. I hardly felt adequate to teach them anything at all. However, in each of the three workshops that I gave, I had many teachers thank me for showing this method as they began to get many great ideas on how to teach this to their students. Wow!!!! Of course, I didn't walk away without new ideas myself! Just goes to show that you can NEVER stop learning. The teachers created the cutest, wildest, and most beautiful pieces using this technique. It was just fun watching the ideas move from the mind to the clay.
Of course, we couldn't stop at just teaching the technique, we had to find all the ways that this project tied in with the various academic subjects. When we introduce clay, we have to talk about how important clay has been in learning about ancient cultures. Because it does not breakdown quickly (not even after 12,000 years) archaeologists are able to learn so much from what is painted on the clay AND what is found inside ( sometimes grains or ashes). Of course, that moves right into how clay is made, naturally, from disintegrating rocks, and water. On to different processes that clay goes through to go from a lump of earth to a solid piece of pottery. Math jumps in their when we have to estimate halves, and then put them together into a whole. I could probably go on and on. Not to mention it is all A LOT OF FUN!

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