Project: Place Mat and Clay Pizza

Place Setting and Clay Pizza (Oct. 29th)

Description: Kids will learn about the art of place setting by creating their own place mats. With the time remaining they will create a clay pizza for their place setting

1. Cultural ideas: Teaching the importance of preparation and why it is important to take the time to properly make our food and eat it.

  1. Fine Motor Skills: Weaving the place mats along with clay project will help tune fine motor skills.
  2. Meal Prep: Kids will gain understanding for the preparation needed to make a meal (pizza) and to eat a meal (place setting)
  3. Creativity: Understanding and having fun creating their own dish.

Author: Claire

Grade level or Target Age Range: Pre-school

Sample, Historical Art Examples, and References:

Vocabulary: Preparation, Ingredients, Importance, Family Values,

Materials: 9 x 12 Construction paper in fall colors, Scissors, Tape, Clay and Tarp

Prep (Placemat):Fold a 9 x 12 Piece of construction paper in half and make five cuts almost to the end. Make one for your Demo piece, but precut construction paper for each member of the class.  These will be the basis for the Mats.

Next cut strips of. Try to get these strips to be roughly the same size as the lines on the larger piece of construction paper. Make sure you don’t cut any strips that are the same color as your Mat.

Take six strips of paper and weave it in an over/under fashion. The ends will stick up a bit so use tape to fasten them down. The final product will look similar to the one below

Prep (Pizza): Make a demo pizza by separating a handful of clay into two pieces. Flatten the one piece using your palm then round it out creating a raised border along the edges. This is your pizza   Take the other piece break it into smaller pieces that will fit onto your now flat pizza. These will be your toppings. Get creative with toppings, use small circles as peperoni, long ovals as sausage, make curved pieces- that can be peppers and add any topping that come to mind.

Anticipatory Set (introductory to the project): What does it take to set a table? What do we need to eat a meal? Why is it important to be prepared when it comes to our meals? What happens if you don’t prepare your meals the right way- What if you don’t have certain ingredients or a way to cook it?

Materials to Have Prepared: Cut up Place Mats (1 for each student), Cut up strips of other colors (6 for each student), a handful of Clay (1 for each student).


  1. Start with the place mats. Show a finished Place Mat. Hand out precut placemats and one strip of paper. (5 minutes)
  2. Demonstrate how to weave paper in an over/under fashion. Have students follow with their place matt and strip. (5 minutes)
  3. Hand out 5 more strips to each student and have them repeat the process until finished. Go around and put names on completed students projects (10 minutes)
  4. Collect completed mats and begin to tie the idea of table prep with meal preparation. Lay out the tarp to prepare for the clay class. (5 minutes)
  5. Introduce the idea of making clay pizza. Bring out demo clay pizza and have students name the ingredients (including the toppings). While this is going have another person go around and hand out the clay pieces. (5 minutes)
  6. Have students divide the clay into two pieces. Have students set one piece aside and have them begin to flatten the other piece. As they flatten have them round out the edges, creating a raised border along the edges (5 minutes)
  7. Have students set the rounded pizza in front of them and grab the other piece of clay. Have the students divide this clay piece into 10 smaller pieces. Have them take 4 of those pieces and make them by rolling them into balls. Announce that this is the pepperoni. Have students secure the pieces to their pizza(5 minutes)
  8. Take 3 of the smaller pieces and have the students roll them out to make long cylinder-like pieces. This is the sausage. Have students secure the pieces to their pizza (5 minutes)
  9. Take the final 3 of the smaller pieces and have kids curve them into little C’s these are peppers. Have students secure the pieces to their pizza. With any extra time remaining help out individual students who need it and encourage kids to add more detail if they would like. (5-10 mins)
  10. Collect student’s clay pieces, write initials on the bottom, and spend the remaining time cleaning up.

Please Note that while there are two projects, sometimes the class runs late. If this happens then go on with the clay pizza project and abandon the place mat project. Save that as a backup lesson for future classes.

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