Making figurines out of natural clay in Kon Yome Monastic School, Shan State, Burma

On a fine day of August 6, 2016, all of the students and teachers of Kon Yome invested some time for School Linking activities to send their first message to Tallinn, Estonia. The students walked into the jungle to get some clay for crafting. Once the got the material, everyone found a suitable place in front of the school building in the shadow of the big tree and creativity could start flying.

Sai Zin Pha, 8, showed the greatest mastery and productivity: he started by making a buffalo, then a hippo (or was it and elephant?) and then went on to create other creatures and cars. Some other boys were taking tips from this little fellow.

Nang Zarm Pang, 9, made a beautiful flower and was really pleased with her creation.

Three older girls: Nang Kham Aeng (10), Nang Swe Ing (11) and Nang Khin The (11) had an idea to print leaf patterns into clay and when they got praised for their originality, they gathered some more plants and started to share their original idea among the rest of the kids, especially the younger ones.

Sai Zai, 5, kept very quiet and serious all the time and probably decided to wash clay in a bucket with washing water rather than create any kind of figurines.

Sai Zom One, 10, showed great knowledge of architecture and engineering: he modeled a house with clay walls and a roof made of beautiful purple leaves. He naturally confessed that he had copied the idea from the real houses around him and that when he grows up, he would like to build more houses in his village. This little architecture immediately got a follower: Nang Kham Zang, 8

Nang Si Warn, 8, thought that making just a regular flower was not enough, so she created a picture that one can hang on a wall as soon as the clay gets harder.

After crafting was over, the kids showed us some dancing and singing and then went to have a school break.

I guess now they are eagerely waiting for a reply from Tallinn Pae High School students!

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A song by class 4 of Dasabligo Primary School

Morning Assembly at Dasabligo Primary
Morning Assembly at Dasabligo Primary

The 4th grade students of Dasabligo Primary created and performed a song about animals living in their village. The name of the song is “Animals feed on grass”.  The song is about goats, cows and sheep who all roam freely around the school and our homes. It explains how these animals live during the rainy season when there is plenty of green grass around so they can eat a lot and grow very fast. Rearing of animals is one of the main activities that people do in rural areas of Ghana. We love our animals very much!

After performing our song we also made drawings of these animals.

Wild animals of Ghana by 5th grade of Gorug School

5th class of Kong-Gorug Primary School made an art project about wild animals in Ghana. We made sculptures of native animals of Africa (elephants, crocodiles, zebras, lions). We collected clay  from the field near our school and each student made their own animal. When all the animals were finished we placed them on the classroom floor and drew a water hole on the ground for them to drink from. Then we sang a song about the same animals. Our friends from 4th grade made drawings of our sculptures.

Art activities with natural materials in Kong-Gorug Primary School

Kong-Gorug Primary School students from 4th, 5th and 6th class worked very hard for two weeks in September of 2016 and participated in many different art activities. We mostly made art using different natural materials. For example we printed different patterns with leaves and did drawings from shadows of different plants from around our school.

We also made land art works in the classroom from natural materials such as grass, sticks, leaves, flowers and stones. 6th class created land art works of traditional Adinkra symbols. Adinkra is a traditional textile printing art of the Ashanti people in Ghana. Special symbols with religious and philosophical meanings are printed on cloth with natural pigments extracted from different trees. Nowadays these symbols are widely used for decorative purposes all over Ghana. We see these symbols on people’s clothes, painted on buildings or imprinted on different products (as logos or decoration).

6th class worked in three groups who each chose one symbol to make from natural materials. 1st group created the symbol  “Gye Nyame” or “Only God”, which represents the omnipotence and immortality of God. 2nd group made the symbol “Nserewa”, or “Cowries” which is the sacred okra flower, which stands for wealth, affluence, abundance and sanctity. The 3rd group used white stones to make “Ese ne Tekrema”- “The Teeth and the Tongue” which reminds people the need for friendliness and interdependence to enable improvement, advancement and growth. After all, our teeth and tongue may come into conflict with each other from time to time (we accidentally bite our tongue) but they still need to work together for us to be able to eat and grow strong. The same is true for our relationships with other people.