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Lesson 1, Grades 6th - 8th, Ceramics

Introduction, 2 Class Periods:

II. Lesson Rationale:
Students will learn ceramic terms and techniques used to make advanced sculptures of clay.
This lesson is important for students to know the terms used to describe the stages of dryness
in the clay, the different types of clay, the tools used for this lesson, the terms for techniques,
and the techniques themselves. They will need to know these aspects in order to continue their
lesson and to broaden their artistic horizon.

III. Key Concepts:

Grasping the concept of clay building techniques.
Identifying the stages of dryness in clay.
Identifying the different types of clay.
Understanding the tools used to make a clay sculpture.

IV. Essential Question:

How can sculptural art represent a culture?

V. Lesson Objectives:
The student will be able to:
o Correctly identify the stages of dryness in clay by listening to the instructor
explaining the terms and why they are named as such

o Know the types of techniques involved in working with clay by watching a short
video explaining a few that are important for hand building ceramics.

o Correctly identify ceramic tools and their use by watching the teacher use them
in their demonstration.

o identify the different types of clay by watching the teacher demonstrate the three
types of clay in class.

VI. Specific Art Content:

3D design
Slab building

VII. Resources & Materials for Teacher:
Stoneware Clay, Internet, Computer, Projector, projector screen, ceramic tools, paper for

VIII. Resources & Materials for Students:

Stoneware Clay, Clay tools, paper, pencil

IX. Instruction and Its Sequencing:
Day of the Lesson: Day 1
1. Introduction/Motivation:
A short PowerPoint presentation of hand building ceramics is presented to the students at the
beginning of class. A video from YouTube will also be shown to the students demonstrating
some hand building techniques.

2. Guided Practice
After the presentation, the teacher will spend some time explaining the types of clay, the terms
for the different stages of dryness, the types of tools involved in slab building, what slab building
is, and the techniques for slab building. This process will most likely take 2 days.

Teacher will show the images of different types of clay:
Stoneware, earth ware, and porcelain.

Teacher will explain and define the different stages of dryness in clay:
Slip, plastic or wet, leather hard, bone dry, bisque, glaze ware.

The teacher will pass around the tools that are most effective in slab building:
Rolling pin, sculpting knife, slipping and scoring tools, slip, cutting wire, water, cups, and molds.

Slab building will be explained and pictures will be shown as to the different types sculptures
that can be made.

Techniques of slab building will be demonstrated:
Pinch pots, coil method, slab method.

3. Independent Practice
Afterwards the students will have to demonstrate their knowledge of this lesson by writing down
the terms covered in this lesson. The teacher will pass around a sheet of paper that that has all
the terms for the students to define.

4. Closure
Students will be given a 5-minute warning to wrap up their assignment for the day and that it is
due at the end of class next class period so they will have extra time to work on it.

5. Formative Evaluation
The knowledge the student retains will be demonstrated through the practice of writing it down
and defining the terms and techniques shown by the teacher.

6. Classroom Management Procedures

Teacher will monitor the room to make sure students are staying on task and working on the
short-written assignment.

Day of the Lesson: Day 2
1. Introduction/Motivation:
The teacher will begin class explaining that their writing assignment is due this day and to work
on it in class

2. Guided Practice
The teacher will go over the terms with the students once everyone has finished their writing

3. Independent Practice
The students will spend the rest of class working on their writing assignment.

4. Closure
10 minutes before class, if everyone has not turned in their assignments, the teacher will
discuss the terms and definitions with the students so they may gain a better understanding.

5. Formative Evaluation
The knowledge the student retains will be demonstrated through the practice of writing it down
and defining the terms and techniques shown by the teacher.

6. Classroom Management Procedures

Teacher will monitor the room to make sure students are staying on task and working on the
short-written assignment.

X. Summative Assessment and Evaluation:
Category Exemplary Satisfactory Emerging Score

Writing Writing assignment is Writing assignment Writing assignment

assignment completely filled out is mostly filled out is lacking many
with every term defined with most or half definitions or have
correctly. answers being none filled in.

Participation Student paid attention Student was Student paid very

during the moderately engaged little attention and
demonstration and with the teacher and did not use time in
used the time in class used time in class class effectively.
to effectively finish their
writing assignment

Content Student has shown a Student has shown Student has shown
understanding deep understanding of good understanding little to no
the material presented. of the material understanding of
presented. the material

XI. Interdisciplinary Connections:
Science, geology, chemistry.

XII. References & Resources

Cellar, Chelsea. (2015, Dec 4). Clay Building Techniques. [Video File]. Retrieved from


117.202. Art, Middle School 1, Adopted 2013.

(c) Knowledge and skills.

(1) Foundations: observation and perception. The student develops and expands visual
literacy skills using critical thinking, imagination, and the senses to observe and explore
the world by learning about, understanding, and applying the elements of art, principles
of design, and expressive qualities. The student uses what the student sees, knows,
and has experienced as sources for examining, understanding, and creating original
artworks. The student is expected to:

(A) identify and illustrate concepts from direct observation, original sources, personal
experiences, and communities such as family, school, cultural, local, regional, national,
and international;

(B) understand and apply the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form,
space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artworks using art vocabulary

(C) understand and apply the principles of design, including emphasis,

repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in
personal artworks using art vocabulary appropriately; and
(D) discuss the expressive properties of artworks such as appropriation, meaning,
narrative, message, and symbol using art vocabulary accurately.

(3) Historical and cultural relevance. The student demonstrates an understanding of art
history and culture by analyzing artistic styles, historical periods, and a variety of
cultures. The student develops global awareness and respect for the traditions and
contributions of diverse cultures. The student is expected to:

(A) identify the influence of historical and political events in artworks;

(B) identify examples of art that convey universal themes such as beliefs, cultural
narrative, life cycles, the passage of time, identity, conflict, and cooperation;

(C) explain the relationships that exist between societies and their art and architecture;

(D) explore career and avocational opportunities in art such as various design,
museum, and fine arts fields.

XIV. National Art Standards

Formulate an artistic investigation of personally relevant content for creating art.

Develop criteria to guide making a work of art or design to meet an identified goal.

Collaboratively shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present- day life using a
contemporary practice of art and design.

Identify and interpret works of art or design that reveal how people live around the world
and what they value.

Explain how the method of display, the location, and the experience of an artwork
influence how it is perceived and valued.


Explain how a persons aesthetic choices are influenced by culture and environment
and impact the visual image that one conveys to others.