Ceramic Pots Lesson Plan

Title/Description: Clay Containers

Level: Elementary School

Duration: Four 45-minute class periods

Historical Overview: Chinese ceramics

Goals and Objectives: To introduce sculpting techniques

Vocabulary: Positive and negative space, carving additive and subtractive methods, coils, pinch pots, slab, scraffito

Materials: Clay, carving tools, wire and washer clay cutting tools, sponges, water containers, toothbrushes, spray bottle


Day 1

  1. Anticipatory Set: Show posters and books of images of Chinese ceramics.
  2. Review vocabulary.
  3. Demonstrate pinch pot: making ball, then putting thumb through center and gently pinching around edges, working the clay thinner from the bottom up.
  4. Students decorate with stamps.

Day 2

  1. Have students wedge clay.
  2. Demonstrate first coil-making technique to make container.
  3. Demonstrate second coil-making technique using ready-made bowl form to inlay coils.
  4. Make sure to spray clay and wrap any unfinished work well.

Day 3

  1. Have students wedge clay, use rolling pin, and trace and cut out hand.
  2. Demonstrate subtractive method and found tools.
  3. Students roll lace and other fabrics into clay and form around molds, adding other color clay details.

Day 4

  1. Students complete projects.
  2. Students critique sculptures and take to kiln. Firing process explained and parts of kiln shown.
  3. Glaze pieces for second firing.

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