My 7th and 8th graders are curious to touch, experience, and manipulate every substance within their reach. They are taking a visual art class as their elective. My students live in a low socioeconomic area, where the entire student population receives free breakfast and lunch.
The majority of my students have experienced some sort of trauma in their lives.
When we worked with clay, they were held captive. Many of them destroyed what they created, just to experience creating it again! It was such an unfamiliar and exciting medium to them. That day art was therapy, and the kinesthetic connection heightened the entire experience. My joy overflows when they realize their own talent that I already knew was there.
These 7th/8th graders are inquisitive and highly motivated to work with ceramics. They were able to do two projects out of clay, a pinch pot and a coil pot, and they fell in love with the medium! They were so engaged, so proud of their 3D accomplishment, and it was truly a therapeutic experience. Additionally, this medium was accessible to students at a variety of levels. We are fortunate to have our own kiln at our school, which is unusual for a middle school. I would love for them to try slab building. We need clay and glaze for 150 students to take their next step as ceramic artists!
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