Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Leaf Prints in Clay

Oh my goodness, this was the last lesson I wanted to post about for the 2013-14 year.  I uploaded the photos weeks ago, but can't seem to focus!!  Enjoying summer a little too much I guess. O.K, so here it goes, forgive the briefness of this post.  This leaf print on clay slab is a project we did with our 5th graders.  We have a rubber leaf print sets that you can get from Dick Blick or other art suppliers, I love them, but they are EXPENSIVE!  They can get torn up easily and there goes $40 faster than you can blink. After students cut the shape for the slab they want, we added texture with various texture plates.  Rubber texture plates come off easier, but plastic texture plates can be used as well.  A little hint to keep the plastic from sticking is to leave the dry clay dust on the plate.  If you have a squeaky clean plate and especially wet clay, that is a disaster waiting to happen. Holes are added with straws, and finally the leaf print is added.  One thing to remember and that I have to stress over and over with students adding textures and prints to their slabs, is that the slabs of clay should be rolled out thicker than the desired finished thickness.  After all texture is pressed and the leaf image you will lose thickness, so keep that into account.  We finished them off with wire and beads for hanging.  All right...phew...I did it, now back to my summer play time. Y'all enjoy your summer, it will be over way too soon!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Book of Life

This past week my family went to watch the movie How to Train your Dragon 2, a highly anticipated movie at my house.  During the movie trailer marathon before it started, we watched the trailer for The Book of Life,  from producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez. (The movie kind of seems like Corpse Bride goes to South America.)  I am so excited for this movie, not just for me.  But, I am also hoping the movie will take some fear away.  While I didn't have a lot of families that chose not to let their child participate in the cultural activities of el dia de los muertos or day of the dead, I did have some.  At the time I was also at a school that was 60% hispanic and a title 1 school.  Now I am at a school that is a higher income, still about 50% hispanic, but not a title 1 school.  Last year I did not do any day of the dead activities.  Curious to see if this school is receptive of this celebration.  Has anyone else seen this trailer?  Do you think movies like this can help people be less fearful?  Is this a cultural celebration you acknowledge in your classroom?