Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2nd Grade Butterflies

Mother’s Day was approaching and I wanted to do something with my 3rd graders that they could take home as a gift. We had already finished one clay lesson but I thought, “Let’s go for it!” I had the clay, the time and the students were delighted to have more than one clay lesson this year. So Clay Butterflies here we come!

Note: Did you see the typo? I labeled this a 2nd grade lesson but made these with 3rd grade. 3rd grade students had already made a clay sculpture, which is right in line with the skills I wanted to introduce to them. About halfway through these butterflies I realized it would be more in line with the skills I was working on with 2nd grade rather than 3rd grade. Students learned a lot from the whole process, but next year I’ll teach this to 2nd grade.
Next Note: This is an add on from the original post... I was cruising through Pinterest yesterday and came across the original idea for these clay butterflies! It does not have the original source listed so I cannot send you to the site. Sorry. It looks like it was made by adult and doesn't have texture on it, just multiple glaze colors.

• Students drew one side of the butterfly (specifically avoiding making the letter “3” and instead focused on the curves that made up each part of the wing.) I had butterfly visuals up on the overhead projector and had enough images that I placed 4-5 butterfly pictures on each table. (I love my picture file!)
• With one side complete, students drew the opposite side of the butterfly without folding the paper and copying. I asked them to closely observe the lines/curves that they drew on the one side and had them try to repeat it just through observation on the opposite side.
• When the drawing was complete students cut out their butterfly shape.
• I gave a demo on rolling out a slab, placing the butterfly paper shape on the slab of clay and cutting it out.
• Next up was applying texture to our butterflies. I had ordered these texture strips below earlier in the school year and was a little taken aback when I saw how narrow they were. The students were enchanted by all the textures to choose from and tried all different ones on their butterflies.

The texture tools we used on the butterflies came from Sax Arts & Crafts catalogue. Here is the info:

• We had rolled up newspapers into balls and taped them to secure the round shape during an earlier project. I had saved the newspaper balls. When all the texture was applied to the butterfly, we carefully flipped them onto the ball of newspaper, texture side down. We got them all balanced and let them dry. If you look at the "4th Grade Clay Leaves" (see Labels: "4th Grade,") you’ll see the newspaper balls.
• After the clay was bisque fired it was time to glaze. I limited the ability to add detail by not putting out the smaller brushes. (We only had that class period to glaze.) If a student was absent the day of glazing, they were able to paint the butterflies with tempera paint and seal it with Mod Podge.

• When the butterflies came out of the kiln we had one week to spare! We decorated white lunch bags for Moms, Aunts, Grandmothers or a special woman in the student’s life, carefully wrapping the butterflies with newspaper and placing them in the decorated bag. A little ribbon finished off the gift bag.

Do you remember my post on making clay stamps? (It's posted under the label, "Clay Tip.") These butterflies would be a perfect lesson to use your homemade clay stamps on.

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