The curriculum theme this term is centred around plant life and nature. My year 3 and 4 classes (age 7-9 year olds) have been basing their learning around book The Green Ship.
I linked the requirement in the national curriculum for children to learn about artists and craftsman to this project. I chose to Introduce the children to the work of Georgia O'Keeffe and her large flower paintings. We looked at example of her work and worked through some of the activities detailed in my earlier post 'Art Activities To Engage Children'.
The children were provided with a handful of air drying clay each and chose an example of O'Keefe's work to create a model. They worked upon shaping their clay into a sphere then flattening it to create a stubby cylinder. Once the children had moulded a cylinder shape, they used modelling tools to mark and cut out petals.
After, I encouraged the children to use their tools to create texture on the surface of their flowers. Many used a basic clay slip (mixture of clay and water) to join leaves and stems to their flowers.
As we used air drying clay we left the flowers to dry and harden over night before painting with colours to match the O'Keeffe paintings.
This particular project gave me an opportunity to observe how the children creatively used the tools to shape, mould and add texture to clay. Some even totally abandoned the use of tools and created their shapes and textures purely using their hands. This type of activity can really help strengthen their fine motor skills.