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Arts & Activities - Page 26

Professions exterminator and “bug.” Doctor. hen studying careers with my fourth-graders, I found a way to get them completely enthused about beginning our study. We had several people come to our school to give brief presentations on their professions. Many of them brought “props” with them such as stethoscopes, different kinds of fishing poles and bait, samples of x-rays and so on. This piqued the students’ curiosity and primed them for my introduction into the plasticine clay sculpture, and research of a profession, which would follow. After the presentations, each student chose a profession he or she would like to model from plasticine clay. I stressed that the profession could be an unusual one, such as a rock star or cartoonist. I didn’t want them to limit their choices to the few they had seen presentations about. Clay is ideal for a first sculpture project. It requires very few tools—we used only scissors and pencils—and is forgiving if a mistake is made. It also is one of the direct methods where the material is molded primarily by hand. Our clay career sculptures are freestanding sculp26 W tures—surrounded on all sides by space. They have three dimensions: Height, width and depth. The freestanding sculpture of a career or professional person was modeled from the plasticine clay, and features were added, such as eyes, textured hair and accessories to por tray the chosen profession. I demonstrated using plasticine clay. We used only red, blue, yellow and green clay to form our sculptures. The clays could be combined to form any colors the students wished to make. This way, the students also reinforced what they knew about color mixing. My demonstration involved showing the students how to use the scissors to cut lengths of clay for hair or to make slits for clothing. I also showed how the clay could easily be smoothed with the point of a pencil or textured by dragging the point of the pencil along the clay to rough it up. Multiple colors of clay were also rolled into one to make marbleized clay that gave a unique look to many of the sculptures. The students had a great time modeling with this clay, which is pliable and never dries out. It can be used februar y 2013 • 80 years x

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