Whenever I begin clay with a class, I always give them an entire period to manipulate the clay in any way they like. They truly get to play with it and figure out its qualities. The students need this time for experimentation before we begin the assignment. The classroom explodes with ideas and the students are often creating figures, hiding spots and characters that come to life when they interact with each other. I love this opening to clay. Here are some photos of what happens:
Once the period is over, we all SQUISH what we have made and return it to the clay bin. Students then work together to make a list of all the things you can do with clay. Here is what we have come up with:
Next, we will begin to learn about ceramics and will create pinch pots with lids that will be painted.