Under the Sea in the Key Largo Reef: Sculpting Detailed Reefs in

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Under the Sea in the Key Largo Reef: Sculpting Detailed Reefs in the Round!
Bring the jewel-like colors and wild textures of a coral reef into the classroom with glass and clay. Excite your
students to explore their own Florida backyard by creating additive sculptures that demonstrate excellent ceramic
skills as well as an understanding of environmental sciences. Participants will: sculpt a fabulously detailed coral reef
including symbiotic species; learn how to interest students in the various types of coral, environmental issues facing
our Florida reef, and interdependence; and leave with a finished sculpture, handouts, a PowerPoint, science and art
benchmarks, website and literature links, and completed lesson plans.
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Teacher Background: This lesson is very fun and can have Many adaptations. You can use air dry clay, regular kiln-fired clay,
you can include glass, stones from fish tanks, even shells if budget allows!! Paint options include acrylic, glazes, tempera,
crayon, watercolor pencils, fluorescent paint, and liquid watercolors. The varieties are really endless! This lesson has been
taught in three of our schools last year and has been a huge success in each school. The lesson is geared towards 4th graders,
but can easily be moved into 5th grade. I did this lesson with my 5th grade clay club as well and they loved it!!
Science and art: When teaching this lesson, it is your choice how indepth you want to get science –wise. When I taught it I
went very in-depth, which made the art part take a long time, however I was fine with that. Depending on your schedule, you
can easily shorten this lesson to three days creation time, 1 day painting time.
Resources for teachers:
World Biomes: http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/coralreef.html
Coral Reef Alliance: http://www.coral.org/resources/about_coral_reefs/coral_overview
Think Quest: http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215471/coral_reef.htm
National Geographic: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/coral/
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/photos/coral-reef/
Florida Aquarium: http://www.flaquarium.org/explore-the-aquarium/virtual-tour.aspx#2
Virtual field trips :
http://www.flaquarium.org/explore-the-aquarium/virtual-tour.aspx#2
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/environment/habitats-environment/habitats-oceans-env/coral-reefs/
Materials:
-Air Dry clay (Mexo White), about $ 38.00/ 50 pounds, paints (watercolor, crayon, oil pastels, tempera paint, Mod Podge),
fish tank stones, glass beads for decorations.
-Low-fire clay (much cheaper), paints (watercolor, crayon, oil pastels, tempera paint, Mod Podge).
Books to read your students about coral reefs:
by Marianne Berkes
by Doe Boyle
by Helen Ward
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