3rd graders at Lemmer created sculptures of fish out of air-dry clay. I chose the subject of fish because each one can be different and still be successful because there are so many kinds of fish in the ocean. I taught two methods of sculpting. The first was to start out with a lump of clay that fit in the palm of your hand and pinch the fins and tail out from the lump. The second method involved cutting a fish shape out of a flat oval of clay. With either method, students then scratched scales and details into the surface of the clay with a toothpick. I challenged them to add a 3-D eye and fin.
The fish dried for a week and then students painted them with acrylic paint. I sprayed them with clear lacquer to protect them and make them shiny. I was really happy with the way this project turned out. Students worked with the perfect amount of clay to finish the sculpture in one week and the paint in one week. I've finally figured out how to portion out the clay - one box will be enough for about 50 students. Everyone learned how to use clay to create a sculpture and had a great time doing it!