When everyone has settled into normal classroom routines after those first few ‘back to school’ weeks, why not think about arranging a date with CLAYTIVITY to join your class. Channeling all that energy into creating a project is the perfect activity for those wet squampton days and and can be used to support current learning themes.
Hand building with clay provides a rewarding art experience for students of all ages and experiences and can help students improve their observation skills as they gain an understanding of 3 dimensional shape and proportions, and balance and composition as they connect components together. Clay is a very versatile material. It can be rolled into coils, round shapes, pinched, pressed and marked and is ideal for expressing imaginative ideas, teaching modelling skills, language, and honing fine motor skills.
“But CLAYTIVITY is not just about the art work. One of the things I love about my work is seeing the concentration on students faces as they work on their projects. I love that undercurrent of thoughtful conversation as students share and compare their ideas and interpretation.”
The best classroom or group atmosphere is often created when a group is engaged on a focussed creative activity together. It can be a very sociable time, nurturing a basic human need to connect to each other and stimulate that creative part of the brain.
Here are a few project ideas for the fall:
In the Squampton Wetlands
With a drainage basin of 3,328 km square, the Squamish Estuary is one of the largest in Western British Columbia and an important wildlife habitat, supporting 4 species of Pacific Salmon, several species of trout, steel head, and bald eagles. Over thousands of years the Squamish Nation and other peoples have settled here and made it their home.
The beautiful Squamish Valley also attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who come to fish, enjoy exciting rafting, canoeing, kayaking, rock climb on impressive granite walls and for the annual bald eagle count at the wildlife reserve for bald eagles in Brackendale.
Students make a scene of two or three wetlands creatures and animals.
Level of difficulty: grade 3 and above.
Celebrate the home of the Bald Eagle
Brackendale, in the Squamish watershed is world famous for Bald Eagle and home of the bald eagle wildlife reserve. They are easy to recognise with their white heads and tails curved beak and eye. Each year bird watchers from all over the world take part in the annual eagle count. Hundreds of resident and migratory eagles arrive in the late fall and winter to feast on runs of salmon. These magnificent birds can be seen in huge numbers on the beaches and in the trees, along the squamish river.
This project can also be adapted to make other birds such as birds of the West Coast, British Colombia, other parts of the worls and specific birds e.g. a raven or toucan.
Level of difficulty: grade 3 and above
Return of the Salmon
As the most important food staple, salmon had esteemed respect within Squamish culture. At a yearly springtime Thanksgiving Ceremony or First Salmon Ceremony, specially prepared fish was made for community gatherings.
Beginning at the foot of the Pemberton Ice Field and draining the complex basins of the coastal mountains, the Squamish River flows 80 km, eventually draining into the salt water of Howe Sound. On its way, it is fed by several more glacier sourced tributaries, Including the Elaho, Ashlu, Cheakamus and Mamquam rivers, each with their own unique ecosystem. Small creeks provide calm gravel beds where salmon spawn and young salmonids are raised and supports 4 species of pacific salmon as well as several species of trout, steel head, and bald eagles.
This project can also be related to learning themes such as ecosystems, Salmon life cycle, Squamish rivers, water ways, or Squamish estuary. Project can also be any type of fish of choice. Similar project idea is the shark.
Level of difficulty: grade 4 and above.
Keeping a pet such as a hamster is a lot of fun but taking care of their wellbeing and happiness is a big responsibility. Weekly and daily chores include cleaning their home and providing a safe and interesting environment, ensuring a fresh supply of water at all times, and small tasty nutritious meals such as tiny portions of tasty fresh fruit and vegetables etc for both their enjoyment and wellbeing.
This is a nice project idea for any age from kindergarten to grade 6. The pet could also be a four legged animal such as a cat or dog or any animal of choice. An option includes adding a tooth brush or pencil holder and would also make an ideal gift to take home for the Winter Holidays.
Level of difficulty: grade K and above