Skip To Main Content

Kindergarten Explores 3D Forms and Clay

Kindergarten Explores 3D Forms and Clay
Tanya Olander

The journey of learning is often a magical and creative process, especially when it involves the hands-on experience of making art. In Kindergarten Art class, students have been learning about 3D forms which they will use to make dragons out of clay. 

Clay fosters creativity through experimentation and play. It is an amazing medium for sensory explorations and for developing fine motor skills, says Art Teacher Jackie Caraglior, adding that the dragon project is a great way for students to build on what they already know about 2D shapes.

“Can I make my dragon from a circle Ms. Jackie?” asks one of her students. Before she can even answer, another student shouts “You can make a sphere!”

A Practice in Clay  and Patience

The students have been learning about 3D forms, i.e. cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres. And clearly, they are already bursting with ideas of how they’ll use these forms to make "cute dragons," "flying dragons," and even a few “unicorn dragons.” The class talks about SSIS Dragon pride and how their dragons can be unique, just like them, and express something about who they are.

Whatever type of dragon the students make to represent themselves, the process is one of trial and error as they learn to solve problems to make their ideas come to life. To make sure their dragon holds up, they also learn critical clay joining techniques. 

Ms. Jackie demonstrates the techniques of joining clay for her students. 

Showing students how to score, slip, stick, and smooth via an iPad that projects her workspace onto a screen, Ms. Jackie carefully demonstrates each technique for all students to see. She explains that before they can connect two pieces of clay, they must “score” and “slip” them. "Scoring creates a rough texture for your clay to connect, and slipping adds water to make the clay wet before you 'stick' the pieces together. Finally, you’ll 'smooth' over the crack. Now, your pieces will stay connected!” 

The students have lots of ideas about what a dragon looks like!

"Clay is magical," shares Ms. Jackie. "It engages students at this age like no other art-making material," she adds as a student next to her focuses intently on scoring one of the pieces that will make up her dragon. 

Art teaching assistant Ms. Luan supports the students as they practice their techniques.

Working with clay is also a practice in patience. The dragons will have to dry for one week before they are fired in the kiln. Then the students will be able to add color. Someone already has plans for a “rainbow dragon.” And finally, once painted with glaze, the dragons will be fired in the kiln one last time before they’re done. The Kindergarten artists will put their dragons on display in the Kindergarten Pod, the area outside their classrooms, just in time to celebrate Tet and the Year of the Dragon!

Dynamic Learning Experiences

Guided by specialist teachers like Ms. Jackie, art becomes an exciting dragon-making adventure that guides students from learning about 3D forms to practicing intricate clay-building techniques that allow them to express their unique artistic visions. 

Ms. Jackie labels each student's dragon with their name before the dragons are set to dry until the following week.

Each day at SSIS is filled with dynamic learning experiences such as this. And for these Kindergartners their dragons will be one of many expressions of creative learning and imagination cultivated by our wonderful educators.

Learn more about our Kindergarten curriculum here.

More SSIS Stories