Monday, October 2, 2017

Why Yes, We Are Making Money

My fourth graders are learning all about the Mycenaeans and the island of Crete right now (you can get my Smart Notebook lesson for this here, look for the one labeled Ancient Greece).  We watched Eyewitness Volcano (which is on YouTube and is AWESOME) and painted volcanoes and drew some Knossos-inspired mansions, and then we printed our own money.  Yep, some counterfeiting going on in fourth grade art!  We looked at coins from that era and watched the video of money being made in ancient times.  I then gave them a strip of poster board (approximately 2 x 6 inches or so) and small circles to trace.  Students used pencil to design their own coins.  They then traced it all with glue and I put it on top of my cabinets to dry completely flat.
Once every student in the class was done and their glue was completely dry, we used clay to press our coins:

Glue not being what it was when I started teaching 18 years ago, each student also had a skewer to add details that were unclear.  We also used our skewers to add our initials to the back of each coin (so we'd have a 'heads' and a 'tails').  Our coins are currently drying before going into the kiln (darn rain has made drying slow) and then we'll paint them with amazing metallic acrylic paint. Students always love using clay, so the making coins was a great success.  We'll see how painting goes!  They're so small, and I'm betting they're going to make a great sound--like real coin clinking.

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