Free Lesson Plan: Clay Animals

Clay Animals

Level: Elementary and Middle School

Duration: Two 45-minute class periods

Historical Overview: Eskimo art

Goals and Objectives: To introduce sculpting techniques

Vocabulary: Positive and negative space, carving additive and subtractive methods, proportion, scale

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


Day 1

  1. Wedge clay.
  2. Using a ball of clay, have students pull clay to form head and neck of bird.
  3. Cut into back separating clay to form three shapes – wings and tail.
  4. Add details like beak, claws, eyes, and feathers.
  5. Using extruder make nest and roll eggs.

Day 2

  1. Anticipatory Set: Show posters and books of images of different clay animals.
  2. Review vocabulary.
  3. Demonstrate subtractive method and found tools.
  4. Have students wedge clay, roll it into a ball, and pull some clay to form the neck and head.
  5. Using a knife, have students follow along making a plus sign cut and form this into four legs.
  6. Have students use sticks and small balls of clay to create eyes and cut mouth into clay.
  7. Make sure to spray clay and wrap any unfinished work well.

See also: Clay Hands and Clay Story Tellers

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