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Discover the beauty and functionality of ancient Native American pottery! These replicas are a wonderful way to learn more about a culture.
Pottery in any culture is an age-old practice that was originally practical and eventually became seen as an art form. Ancient Native American pieces are beautifully decorated ceramics that are not only functional but a pleasure to look at as well. Small groups of students research the history of this art form in Northern America using text and electronic resources approved by the instructor.
When research is complete, student groups present their learning to classmates. When all presentations are complete, ask students to choose a style of pottery from one Native nation to replicate.
Based on the style of the pot, students choose an armature such as a recycled container or crumpled aluminum foil. Cover this basic form with a thin Crayola® Model Magic® layer.
Add embellishments to the pot by creating ropes, leather cords, feathers, and beads, as appropriate to the culture and time period, and affixing them to the pot. For even edges, cut the compound with Crayola Scissors.
One way to make beads is to cut a long piece of fishing line. Make small Model Magic balls and wrap them around the fishing line about half-way down the length. Leave enough fishing line uncovered so it can be used it to wrap around the lip of the pot later. Challenge students to experiment with making different shapes of beads and alternating colors to create unique patterns.
At the end of a string of beads on Native pottery, there are often large decorative feathers. Roll out Model Magic compound into feathers. Combine different colors for multi-color feathers. Then take a craft stick or other modeling tool to etch in the feather’s vein and the edges. Press the feather on the fishing line at the end of the beads. Cut off any fishing line that sticks out on the bottom. Wrap the extra fishing line around the lip of the pot and tie a knot.
Fishing line can be hidden by covering the lip with cords or other decorative elements. Beautiful rope can adorn the pot by braiding three long pieces of Model Magic compound and then wrapping the braid around the lip. Model Magic® dries to the touch overnight and dries completely in 2 to 3 days.
While Model Magic is drying, students compose a summary paragraph reflecting upon their learning on Native American pottery and references how they incorporated this learning into their original pottery.
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