Educational activities
 In these workshops the methodology and development of the activity are similar to the collective projects’ but there are some differences because each student makes its own piece.

a) Methodology
We encourage personal learning through reasoning and the experience in the workshop as a complement of the knowledge acquired during the visit to the Museum.
These activities are focused on some historical periods: from the Neolithic to the present. To achieve this we use the Museum’s exhibitions as educational spaces. The activity finishes with a workshop where students become ceramists from a certain historical period and use techniques and proceedings from this period. From prehistoric ceramics to contemporary art, they can become: Roman ceramists, tile manufacturers from the Middle Ages, painters of a factory from the 18th century or trainees in a pottery workshop from the 19th century.

b) Structure
All the workshops have the same structure: introductory visit and activity in the Ceramic Workshop in our Museum.
In the first stage, students will discover ceramics through the different collections in our Museum, temporary exhibitions, archaeological materials… It is possible to conclude this stage visiting some patrimonial resource in our town (Route of Ceramic Murals, Santa Roman Thermal Baths, tiles factories…). It is not recommendable for children to visit the whole Museum; the best option is to focus on content which will be useful for them while they are working in the workshop. We always try to make the most of the stage in which children are more interested in and more focused. They are the main characters of the visit: they are who discover the ceramic pieces of the Museum, who solve the enigmas… In order to achieve that, we have the following resources:
1. Reproduction, both in the visits outdoors (Santa Thermal Baths) and in the Museum (potter or ceramist demonstration, dramatizations…). Our objective is to take the students to a precise historical moment or space: a Roman villa, a pottery shop, a contemporary ceramist’s workshop, the room in which the painters from the Royal Factory worked…
2. Identification. Preschool and Primary (first years) children visit the entire Museum (even private spaces) in order to identify the different purposes that ceramics has: double-skin façade, roof tiles of the houses near the Museum, toilets… this is how they discover that ceramics is not only exhibited in the Museum but it is also around us every day.
3. Participative demonstrations. The potter Antonio Nomdedéu, surrounded by tools used by his family for generations, is introduced to the students so that they can talk with him and learn how clay can become a jug, a bowl… This activity surprises children and encourages them to learn. In some activities, a ceramist with a “mobile-workshop” (a basket with clay, moulds, paintbrushes, stencils…) shows children how to make and decorate the pieces which are exhibited in the l’Alcora Ceramics Collection.

These are strategies to make less heavy going the theoretical part of the experience. Through game, dialogue, participation and touching the objects, children assimilate better the contents of the activity and they come to the workshop motivated and exited to become ceramists.

The Workshop at the end of the activity
The workshop is a space where children can discover what they can’t see when they observe the exhibited piece: manufacturing techniques, the features of the materials… The objectives are:
a) To encourage students to discover through action.
b) Interdisciplinary learning: environment, history, art, specific terminology, chemical and physical processes in ceramics, etc.
c) To encourage children’s creativity so they develop their individual and collective expression.
d) To complement the arts education they receive at school.
e) To approach children to the Museum through a daily activity, a job, a craftwork… Students become ceramists in a real way.
f) Values education: to wait, share and work in teams, to encourage them to help their classmates, to experience frustration and happiness… These values are easily transmissible using ceramics. Children will also learn that it is impossible to have their pieces ready immediately: they will have to wait to see the results. It has been proven that waiting helps them to appreciate the results of their effort.

The activity finishes with the delivery of the pieces they have made. The child will explain their family and friends the activity in which he or she has participated. Eventually the piece will become an “object-memory” that will remind students their experience and the knowledge acquired in the Museum.
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