Note: If you use anything lower than 20 gauge wire you would need more heavy duty pliers. 22 ga and up, craft pliers from Wal-Mart etc. are OK. Radio Shack has nice flush cutters for about $ 4.00. One problem on working with wire in a school setting is to have decent tools. The most expensive thing was to have tools for the students and they had to be decent ones or would only last for a few times.
Spirals are easy to make, however, pliers will leave marks and need to be padded with a good wrapping of masking tape.
It is best to just start out by doing a simple 'spiral' (see Connie Fox tutorial). This is used to finish so many things. It's good training to work with pliers. Once the students have the ' hang' of it, wrapping a project does not take too long and can be easily achieved within a class period.
Encourage students to bring junk jewelry from home, that could be taken apart for new assembly into earrings and necklaces.
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Christa-Maria's course would give a basic run-down on metals, how to use them, what basic tools to have and how to use a simple torch to do a simple soldering project, making a silver ring. With basic knowledge like that, students could go on to do some wirework, make their own jewelry like earrings and necklaces.
If you are not that familiar with jewelry making, Christa-Maria suggests that you try to get a jeweler into your classroom to give students some basics. She taught a 3 month metal-smithing program for the advanced students at the high school, where they would start with simple wire jewelry, so the students got the hang of how to use tools. Then they graduated to making wax forms that someone else burned out and cast for them. She showed a video on how that was done. After that, it was to sheet metal, sawing out things, and simple things like soldering a ring. All of this was possible in Christa Maria's school because she provided the tools.