Lesson Plan; Ceramic Spirit Animals
This lesson will teach learners the basics of sculpting with clay by allowing them to pick the animal with which they identify the most, having them write out the reasons why they identify with that animal, and having them sculpt a miniature of the animal.
The intended age group for my lesson is 8-9 years old, or third grade.
♣ How many students in the lesson?
Ideally, this lesson would be taught to a group of ten students or less.
♣ Choose between a workshop and/or a classroom environment for this lesson.
This lesson would take place in a classroom environment.
The topic of this lesson is art (or arts and crafts).
♣ Goal of Lesson Plan?
The goal of this lesson is to teach students the basics of sculpting with clay, fulfilling the third grade visual art requirement from the VPA Standards of “creat[ing] an imaginative clay sculpture based on an organic form.” The lesson also exposes learners to examples of animal sculptures from ancient cultures, and introduces them to the idea of symbolism in art.
♣ What are some important questions to ask the students while moving them along sequentially?
What are their hobbies? What are their skills? What personality traits are they most proud of? What are their strengths and weaknesses? (Questions intended for learners who are struggling to decide on their animal.)
♣ Materials needed?
25-50 pounds of paper clay, basic sculpting tools, animal encyclopedias or computers with which the learners can research different animals, paper, pencils, a kiln.
1) Give basic overview of what the lesson will entail.
2) Present slides of images of different simple animal figurines from different parts of the world.
3) Encourage learners to conduct independent research on different animals and their traits. (Provide animal encyclopedias or pamphlets on animal symbolism)
4) Hand out clay and lay tools out at the front of the classroom.
5) Provide book with basic instructions on sculpting animals with clay.
6) Provide paper and pencils, and have learners write a few sentences about why they picked that animal and how they are similar to the animal.
♣ Desired Outcomes?
The desired outcome of my lesson is not only to teach students how to sculpt with clay, but to give them an opportunity to reflect on their strengths as individuals and thereby increase their confidence.
♣ Reflection and/or assessment strategy?
Ideally this lesson would be taught in a pass/fail class. The intention of the lesson is to make students feel good about themselves and to allow them to have fun, so I would not necessarily want to grade them on an F to A scale. If a scale were necessary, then the learners’ performance would not be judged on the visual quality of their sculptures, but on their level of engagement and participation.