I wanted to share one of my favorite Earth Day projects.
The children design and create a clay insect that will air dry. Once dry it is placed in an outdoor garden or plot of land.
The insects are observed for the remainder of the year. I like to place a plastic insect among the clay insects. Guess what?! The weather disintegrates the clay insects. So cool! The kids love it! One day the insects are GONE! But why isn’t the plastic insect?
This ties in beautifully with the concept biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials – such an important topic for Earth Day.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Red clay
Clay is not expensive. You can purchase it cheaply for about $10 for 10 pounds.
This enough for several projects. You could also share it with a team mate. To find a shop that sells clay – google ceramic stores. Or order it online here.
- I like free software like Tux Paint or PaintGo for design play. They can use shapes and forms to design their concepts about how to construct the insect.
- I give each student a lump of clay. The brown clay stains less than the red clay.
- Pencils are great for making marks and designs.
- Have the children measure their insect using nonstandard measurement just after creating it. I had the children use paperclips.
- Let the clay insect air dry (do not fire them!!!).
- Once dried, measure the insect again. Record.
- Let the children take them home to put in their gardens and yards. OR you could put them in the school yard or garden.