Since I got the shout-out, I figured I should post something today. And so, without further ado, I give you fourth grade African Amulets (in the making)! This is a lesson I've been doing for a few years now, and it's a favorite of the kids and yours truly. I came across it in an old issue of Arts & Activities and promise to give credit to the author as soon as I relocate the mag.
The lesson article was titled "Clay for the Kiln-less," and HELLO, that's me. Neither of my buildings has a kiln, so usually I am forced to use ( hideous nightmare-ish awful) air-dry clay. It cracks, it's brittle, it's my arch enemy. For the amulets, we use salt dough. It's easy to whip up in whatever quantity I need, it's cheap to make, and I can bake it in my regular ol' oven at home.
We start with an intro day, during which we identify some of the characteristics of traditional African art (focusing on masks and amulets). The kids get modeling clay to practice and sort out ideas.
One girl said, "mine looks like my sister before coffee." HA!
On the second day, we use the dough. The kiddos love sprinkling flour on their surface, and hearing about how I take the amulets home to bake, where Mr. Connell smells the dough baking and assumes I'm baking for him, and sometimes samples a project or two (they love any story that involves the mysterious Mr. Connell).
That's as far as we've gotten thus far. Next week we'll stain the baked dough using earth tones, a post for another day!
|A shot from last year--more to come.|