This is a great clay lesson perfect for the younger crowd - these clay fossils and necklaces were made with Pre-K students during one class period. For prep, each student will need two chunks of clay - one about 3-4" in diameter and the other about an inch in diameter. To warm up, we talk about fossils and I share a book called, Fossil by Bill Thomson. To make the charm, I teach the kids how to gently roll the bottom of their shoe on top of a small piece of clay that we place on the floor. When we are done with the shoe fossils, I pass out fossil tool kits - boxes with shells and an assortment of plastic dinos and bugs. First, they use the palm of their hand to press the larger chunk of clay into a pancake and then we have fun pressing the tools into the clay and experimenting to make the larger fossils.
Tip: Make name tags to stay organized! I use small pieces of paper with the kids names already pre-written. To keep track of everyone's work, I placed the charm on top of the large fossil and sandwich the name tag in between. At the end of the day, I used a toothpick to write names on the underside of both pieces.
After these were bisque fired, the kids used underglazes to add color to both of their fossils. I painted on clear coat so they would come out nice and shiny after the second firing.
Practicing fine motor skills and adding beads to each side of the shoe charms!