Monday, May 30, 2011

ceramic lesson plans: slab masks

 (Ceramic slab masks by elementary students in an art exhibit)

Title: Ceramic Masks
Topic: learning to work with clay, sculpture
Goals & Objectives:
  • Students will model clay with control.
  • Students will build upon past knowledge in order to craft an original, three-dimensional artwork.
  • Through observation, investigation and discipline, students will create an art object demonstrating the use of the elements and principles of design.
  • Students will use ceramic vocabulary when referring to the processes of shaping clay objects.
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 Subject Matter: Fine Art
A.3. Communicate ideas about subject matter and themes in artworks created for various purposes
Grade 4 - Portrait: Create facial features in correct proportion, Exaggerate, distort, or simplify features to create an abstract portrait
Grade: 4th and 5th
Length of Class Period: 55 min.
Frequency of Class Period: once a week
Time Needed: three 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 ceramic masks
Resources Needed:
Mask diagram for whiteboard.
  •     Tips for beginning potters by Murry's Pottery. This video collection is appropriate for very young students. Murry shows basic techniques, child appropriate language, kind voice, secular presentations, excellent visuals and explanations. (15 videos)
  •     Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
  •     Power point about masks from many different cultures
  •     Sample for the chalkboard/interactive whiteboard
Materials Per Student:
  • Both a large and small paint brush
  • A selection of tempera paints in egg carton, one carton per four students
  • Glitter glue
  • A large container of water, one per four students
  • A paper towel
  • Amount of clay approximating the size of a tennis ball +  one half of a second tennis ball per student is used for the modeling of this object
  • A variety of clay printing and modeling tools (wood chips, shells, pencils, clay stamps, etc...)
  • Each student will need one burlap placemat to keep his/her working space clean and also to prevent clay from sticking to their counter space while he/she works
  • Every table will need a large wooden rolling pin
  • Additional trims such as: feathers, beads, sequins, chenille wire
  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: The teacher will demonstrate the following methods for creating a drape bowl before the students begin.
Step-by-Step Studio Activity Specifics:
  1. Sketch out a design for a mask on 8 ½ x 11 inch typing paper.
  2. Fold your drawing in half and choose the better side of your design to cut.
  3. Cut out the paper design for your mask from this scratch typing paper. This will be the pattern you use to trace around later.
  4. Roll out a large slab gently and slowly from the ball of clay the teacher gives you onto your burlap placematt.
  5. The slab measure an even, smooth depth of approx. ½ inches and be large enough for you to trace your mask pattern onto.
  6. Trace with a pencil or toothpick around the paper pattern on top of the clay slab.
  7. Cut out your mask design using a plastic knife.
  8. Remove the excess clay from around the mask shape. Don’t forget to also cut out the eyes, nose and mouth holes if you have drawn any of these out for your design.
  9. Add clay details by first scratching the surface and then dripping water into those scratches before pressing clay details onto your clay masks’ surface.
  10. Your teacher will then lift your mask and place it properly on a sheet of glass, plywood etc... for drying.
  11. After the masks have been fired in the kiln once students may paint them with bright tempera paints.
  12. After the paint has dried, students may add odds and ends to their masks to create texture and interest. The teacher will need to be in control of the hot glue gun in order for this to be done properly.
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: The teacher will grade the studio assignment and worksheet according to a rubric included with the standard grading charts of the district.

A slab butterfly mask made by my younger child. This one was glazed not painted.

all articles and lesson plans are copyrighted 2011 by Grimm

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