GiS G4 : Ancient China – Potters and Calligraphers in the Making

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. By Maya Angelou

Learning about the history of Ancient China has been entirely enjoyable for the grade four students. They got to know different dynasties that ruled and govern the country dating back to its very long history, various forms of Chinese art, and the stylized artistic writing of Chinese characters – calligraphy.

One of the most significant pieces of art in most homes is Chinese ceramics. The ancient Chinese ceramic art was in the forms of pots, plates, and several housewares you can think of. The students learned that porcelain was made from white china clay. They made their own version of clay using recycled paper and glue. With a molder, they patiently sculptured their desired wares (two bowls and a pot). The students worked thoroughly until they finished their projects painted with Chinese-like patterns.

The students were still up to challenge themselves and wanted to explore the art of calligraphy after ceramics. They learned some teachings of China’s two greatest philosophers: Lao Tzu and Confucius. After discussing selected quotes, the students practiced the basics of calligraphy. Given a minimal background, they were still able to confidently exhibit their styled-writing skills. Of course, ensuring that they understood what they wrote!

Chinese history has not only taught our fourth graders about dynasties and its rich culture but also allowed them to explore their creativity.