The first graders have been working in pairs, small groups, and finally the whole class together on a clay landscape with water, mountains, bridges, and boats. Learning to work collaboratively through the fluidity of clay is one of the goals of sculptural arts. The day before the third graders built a fire in a pit they had dug. They carefully placed in their clay instruments, rattles, drums, and whistles, made in the previous weeks. When the fire was at its peak, dirt was thrown on to smother the fire so that the pit kiln smoked for the rest of the day. The pots were marked in black and white and there were even irridescent flashes! At the end of the day, the third graders took apart the kiln with shovels and tongs as if they were opening presents out of the earth. We sang, " The earth, the air, the fire, the water, return, return, return, return, " a Native American chant.