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What kinds of designs have you seen on dinner plates, teapots, and vases? Porcelain is just one of many Chinese inventions.
Many items we use everyday were invented in China centuries ago. During a unit of study focused on China, invite students to find out how porcelain has been made for more than 2000 years. Students will find that it traditionally is decorated with blue and white designs of bridges, tea houses, boats, and willow trees. Organize a variety of text and electronic resources for students to students to use during this investigation.
Once research is complete, challenge students to create a porcelain piece. Students use Crayola® Air-Dry Clay to make decorative replicas of Chinese dinnerware to show what they have learned about Chinese history, inventions, and traditional designs. Working on a clean dry surface, students roll a ball of clay. Students decide what they want to sculpt—perhaps a plate, bowl, or teapot. If they change their minds, adding a little water and start again!
For the plate: Students flatten the ball. Use a craft stick to cut out a plate. Pinch the outside edge with fingers to create a rim.
Bowl, vase, teapot, or cups: Students push your thumb into the middle of a clay ball. Keep pointer fingers on the outside. Students pinch and shape until they have a pleasing form. Make handles or a spout by rolling small snake-like shapes. Scratch the pot surface with a craft stick. Slightly dampen the area with fingers to attach a handle or spout. Roll out and cut a lid to fit.
Students smooth the surfaces of their clay with damp fingers. Air-dry porcelain replicas for 2 to 5 days.
Once clay is completely dry, students cover their work areas with recycled paper. Challenge them to decorate sculptures in traditional Chinese blue designs with Crayola Tempera Paints. Air-dry the paint before preparing a display showing these Chinese replicas.
This powerful diorama pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrate his historic civil rights speech on the step
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