Day 1: Discover a Creature
Fourth grade learned about Zoologists and how they help study animals as well as help scientists discover new animal species. The students were challenged to create their own animal using what they already knew about animals such as what kinds of animals they already knew about and what different habitats there are. The students were challenged to think about what feature their creatures need to have to survive, what their creature eats, and what their creature looks like. The students then drew their creatures thinking about all the elements needed for a creature to live. The students also had to come up with a name for their creature since they were the ones to discover them.
Day 2: Clay
After the students created their sketches of their creatures, they could actual make them. Each student received some clay and had a quick demonstration on clay techniques they already should have learned such as how to make a pinch pot and a coil. Thy learned the new technique called “Scratch and Attach” that uses slip as glue for clay. The students had their creature sketches handed back to help guide them in the clay making process. The students were challenged to figure out how to make sure they had enough clay for all the body parts, as well as what body parts were needed the most verse what details could be added on later with paint, or other materials.
Day 3: Habitats
While the student’s clay creatures were in the kiln being fired, the students learned about the habitat artist Jada Fitch. They learned about how Jada Fitch creates habitats for birds by using cardboard and dollhouse furniture. The students thought about the homes they would like to make for their clay creatures and what habitat they had placed their creature in in their sketches on Day 1. The students learned basic paper techniques such as folding, tabbing, making fringe, and flaring to help inspire them in making habitats for their creatures using only paper.
Day 4: Painting
After the creatures came out of the kiln it was time for the students to paint their creatures. The students used acrylic paint and learned how acrylic dries very fast. The students learned how to use their paintbrush to get in the tiny crevasses of the clay creatures to make sure no clay could be seen. If the clay creatures had parts that had fallen off, the students just used Elmer’s glue to glue the pieces back on.
Day 5: Workday
The last day was a workday for the students. The students finished painting their clay creatures and finished creating their paper habitats for their clay creatures. When the students were finished with everything they put their creatures into their habitats.