Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ceramic lesson plan: clay slab people

(Clay slab people by 4th and 5th graders)

Title: Clay Slab People
Topic: learning to work with clay
Objectives & Goals:
  • Students will demonstrate slab-building techniques while working with clay.
  • Students will participate with their peers in a procedure known as cubing in order to examine thoroughly a selected topic in six dimensions.
Strand I: Product/Performance for Sculpture, Ceramics, Other Media
A.2. Select and apply three-dimensional media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas and solve challenging visual art  problems.
Grade 4 - Build or layer materials to create a relief, Apply a variety of paper folding techniques, Modeling with clay or a similar material;,Make organic forms
Grade 5 - Combine simple forms to create a complex object/form (in-the-round), Use paper joining techniques such as tabs and slits, Modeling with clay or a similar material:, Build a form using a coil techniques
Strand II: Elements and Principles – Form
C. 1. Select and use elements of art for their effect in communicating ideas through artwork.
Grade 4 - Identify and demonstrate relief sculpture, Identify and use organic form
Grade 5 - Identify and use the illusion of form: cube, sphere, cylinder, and cone
Strand I: Product/Performance for Theme
C.3. Communicate ideas about subject matter and themes in artworks created for various purposes.
Grade 4 - Create an original artwork that communicates ideas about the following themes:
· Missouri
· The Environment
· Time (e.g., past, present, future)
Grade 5 - Create an original artwork that communicates ideas about the following themes:
· United States
· Patriotism
· World
· Time (e.g., past, present, future)
Grade: 4th and 5th
Length of Class Period: 55 min.
Frequency of Class Period: once a week
Time Needed: two class periods
Facility & Equipment Requirements:
  • One computer lap top
  • Room with good lighting
  • Large tables, approximately ten, each seating four students
  • Two sinks
  • Dry erase board
  • Drying racks
  • Cabinets for storage
  • Projector for viewing computer video, CDs and DVDs
  • Kiln for firing porcelain clay figures
Resources Needed:
  • Power Point about building a clay slab figure
  • “The Pot That Juan Built,” by Nancy Andrews-Goebel
Materials Per Student for Looking and Talking Activity/Cubing: 
  • Each small group receives one sheet of paper with a label on it. The six labels are as follows: Describe, Compare, Associate, Analyze, Apply or Argue.
Materials Per Student For Studio Project:
  • One round ball of porcelain clay measuring four inches in diameter.
  • One roughly cut mat made from burlap
  • One small shallow plastic tray of water
  • A pencil for scoring
  • An egg carton with a variety of glazes for painting with. (one egg carton per every four pupils)
  1. pinch - to form clay between the fingers and the palm
  2. coil - a rope-like formation of clay
  3. slab - a evenly rolled or pressed layer of clay
  4. bisque - is clay that has been fired but not yet glazed
  5. ceramics - are objects created from stoneware, porcelain or terra cotta
  6. clay - soil, water and sand
  7. fire - is the name for the heat that is used in a kiln
  8. glaze - a glass paint used on pottery
  9. kiln - a special oven used for hardening clay
  10. greenware - pottery that is not yet fired in a kiln
  11. leather hard - the hard condition of clay when it is almost air-dry
  12. score - roughen the clay's surface so that a bond may be formed between two surfaces
  13. sculpture - a three-dimensional art work
  14. slip - a liquid clay used to glue two pieces together
  15. texture - press into the clay surface with objects to create a pattern, design or rough surface

Motivation- Looking and Talking Activity: This activity will last the entire first day of the lesson plan. After I read aloud, “The Pot That Juan Built,” by Nancy Andrews-Goebel, the class will learn to participate in an activity know as “Cubing.” Cubing helps students understand the stories that have been read aloud to them on a much deeper level through a thorough examination of the facts. Below is an example of the kinds of answers the teacher might expect from the small group participants after the above story has been read as well as a step-by-step procedure for the activity.
Step 1. Choose a topic, in this case the topic would be the story, “The Pot That Juan Built.”
Step 2. Divide the class into six small groups. Each group will examine their assigned part of the “cube.”  The possibilities include: Describe, Compare, Associate, Analyze, Apply or Argue.
Step 3. Students brainstorm about their topic and write/illustrate their ideas on one sheet of paper provided for the purpose.
Step 4. Students then share their findings with the larger class and may also attach these to a six-sided box or also to bulletin board with six columns displaying their research.
An Answer Key Example
Describe: Juan Quezada was born in Mexico in 1940. When he was year old, his family moved to a village called Mata Ortiz. It is in this village that Juan makes his famous pots.
Compare: Juan loves to create beautiful and useful things just like the native people that used to live in Mata Ortiz six hundred years ago. He digs up his clay from the same ground just as the Casas Grandes native peoples did. He makes paint out of the local minerals: black manganese and red oxide just as the natives used to do. He even makes his paintbrushes from his daughter’s hair in the very same way that the ancient tribal people did when they were alive in Mata Ortiz!
Associate: Juan Quezada is a lot like us. He loves to make pottery out of clay and so do we.
Analyze: Juan Quezada used to be very poor and so were the people in his village before he taught them to make pottery. We can learn to be successful like Juan if we are willing to work hard and take care of the people around us in our school.
Apply: Making pottery is fun and many people love to use the pottery to decorate their homes with. If we work hard, we can learn many interesting, artistic activities at school. We can also use many of the same found materials that Juan discovered in the environment without spending money or throwing away useful materials.
Argue: Juan was very inventive. He helped his entire village make money so that they could feed their children and build them nicer schools. Juan was very curious and learned how to use things from his environment to save money. Juan appreciated the history of those people who lived 600 hundred years before he did. He learned the important things that they knew in order to survive and to help others survive as well.
Step-by-Step Studio Activity Specifics:
  1. The teacher will review the clay vocabulary after showing the Power Point about slab building to the students on the second day.
  2. Students will each be given a burlap mat to keep the clay from sticking on their tabletops.
  3. Shallow pans of water will also be placed at each table as well.
  4. Students will role with their palms only, the lump of clay and compress each four-inch ball without flattening the clay. This helps force air pockets from the clay. (do this for approximately 2 minutes)
  5. Then students will divide their clay in half and press out one of the large balls into a pancake shape that will form the dress or shirt and shorts of their clay person.
  6. Students will then divide their second large lump in half and use one piece for the head.
  7. The remaining lump of clay should be divided into four lumps and rolled out for arms and legs.
  8. The teacher should demonstrate to his or her students how to score the clay with a pencil and then add tiny drops of water to the scored surface, pressing the attached body parts with the palms of their hands spread flat against the clay joints.
  9. After the figures are formed these will need to dry for 24 hours, then be slowly fired in a kiln on low from four to six hours, on medium from four to six hours, and then on high for another additional four to six hours. Place a cone in the timer before turning on the kiln in order to ensure that the kiln will turn itself off before exceeding the highest temperature.
  10. After properly firing the clay figures paint these with glazes. Layer the glazes at least three times for each color choice in order to achieve a nice, evenly coated surface.
  11. Fire the figures again appropriately.
Special Needs Adaptations:
Modifications for the hard-of-hearing or deaf student:
  • Student will be seated closer to instructor so they will be better equipped to hear instructions or read lips
  • Student will be provided with written instructions so that they read about the discussions and demonstrations
  • The instructor may use a amplification devise provided by the school or student’s parents
Modifications for the student with limited vision or blindness:
  • Students will be allowed to observe samples of art projects with their hands and for extended periods of time
  • Students will be provided with safe tools and one-on-one guidance during a demonstration of the project
  • The project may be slightly adjusted to accommodate the student’s limitations or for safety reasons
  • Student will be given ample time to exist classroom before large crowds gather outside of the classroom.
Modifications for students with mild brain injury:
  • Students will be provided with duplicate instructions for home and school. Student will not need to remember to carry home materials to review.
  • Students will be given ample time to exist classroom with a pre-determined aid or peer before the official end of a class.
  • Instructor will provide for parent e-mail communication concerning the progress and needs of their student.
  • Student may be given special seat assignment in order to enable his participation in class appropriately. Specific peers may be better equipped to articulate projects visually for this student.
Health & Safety Concerns: There are no health and safety concerns for this project.
Cleanup Time & Strategy: Students will be instructed to put away art materials neatly in their containers, clean off their tables, and recycle their trash two minutes prior to dismissal.
Assessment: Fill out the formal scoring guide developed by the your school district according to age appropriate standards.
Lesson Plan and artwork photo copyrighted 2011 by Grimm

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