SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket

Students use air-dry clay and slab, hand-building technique to create a Mother's Day hanging basket which they finish with acrylic paint.

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 6

Subject

Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

contrast emphasis score slab slip texture variety

Materials

Crayola Air-Dry Clay - White - about ½ kg (1 lb) per student Crayola Acrylic Paint - 6 Count Crayola Paint Brushes - 5 Count Crayola Scissors Copy Paper Paper Towels Rolling Pins or Dowels about 30 cm (12") long Wax Paper Pencils Paper Clips Masking Tape Water Containers Ribbon or String Dried or Artificial Flowers

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Steps

SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step One

Step One

  1. Take a small ball of clay about the size of a tennis ball.
  2. Flatten it onto a piece of wax paper with your fingers and the palm of your hand.
  3. Next use a rolling pin or dowel to roll it into a smooth slab about .75 cm (1/4 in) thick.
  4. The wax paper will keep the clay from sticking to the table.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Fold a piece of copy paper in half.
  2. Cut out a heart shape that will fit your slab.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Place the paper pattern on the clay slab. 
  2. Use the pin tool to cut out the heart. 
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Roll out a smaller slab the same way you made the first one. 
  2. Cut out a smaller heart from the original pattern. 
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Cut out the smaller heart.
  2. Make a small oval slab of clay for the face.
  3. Use the pin tool to score the back of the shape.
  4. Score the spot on the small heart where you will be joining the small oval shape.
  5. Brush slip onto the surface of the oval.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Add details using various textures and tools.
  2. Remember to score and slip every time you add pieces of clay.
  3. Place the small heart onto the larger heart.
  4. Use the pin tool to mark where the small heart will join the larger heart.
  5. Remove the small heart.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Score the places where the two pieces of clay will be joined.
  2. Apply slip to the scored areas.
  3. Remember that only the sides of the small heart will be attached to the large heart.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Crumple up a small ball of wax paper.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Place the crumpled up wax paper on the large heart and place the small heart on top of it.
  2. The wax paper will support the small heart while it dries.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Ten

Step Ten

  1. Join the two pieces of clay together, gently pushing the edges into each other.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

  1. Use the tip of a pencil to make two holes at the top of the heart shape for the ribbon or string.
  2. Mkae sure the holes are level.
  3. Allow the clay to dry for about one week.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Twelve

Step Twelve

  1. When the clay is dry paint it with acrylic paint.
SOMETHING FOR MOTHER – Clay Hanging Basket - Step Thirteen

Step Thirteen

  1. Add a ribbon or string and some dried or silk flowers to complete the gift.
  2. View your finished work with fresh eyes.
    - What do you like the best about it? Why?
    - What will your mother like the best about it? Why?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a clay hanging basket;
  • use different textures to add variety to their work;
  • use contrast to create areas of emphasis;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

Extensions

Have students:

Prepare

  1. Prior to this lesson you may want to have students explore clay techniques with the Score and Slip lesson available on this website.
  2. Make a batch of slip, enough for groups of students to share.
  3. Have students make pin tools by taping an open paper clip to the end of a pencil.
  4. Gather and make available books about Mother's Day, for example, A Gift for Mama, by Linda Ravin Lodding; How to Babysit a Grandma, by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish; The Day I Lost My Superpowers, by Michaël Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo; and Someday, by Alison McGhee.
  5. Download and display the Contrast, Emphasis, Variety and Texture posters available on this website.

Introduction

  1. Conduct a read-aloud with a story such as The Night Before Mother's Day, by Natasha Wing, and Amy Wummer to connect with the idea of generosity.
  2. Discuss gift giving in general.
    - Why and when do we give gifts?
    - How do we choose the gifts we give?

    What are some of their favourite gifts?
  3. Brainstorm reasons to give mothers gifts, and ways students like to celebrate Mother's Day with their moms or special caregivers. 
  4. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Create a clay hanging basket.
  2. Use different textures to add variety to your work.
  3. Use contrast to create areas of emphasis.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a clay hanging basket
    - constructed a clay hanging basket using skillful slab hand-building techniques
    - used different textures to add variety
    - used contrast to add areas of emphasis

    - created a clay artwork that is sturdy and in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Encourage students to think of how they can use contrast to create areas of emphasis.
  5. Encourage students to always join clay using the score and slip technique.
  6. Observe students as they work. 
  7. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Place students into groups of about 6.
  2. Ask them to share thoughts about the works.
  3. During the discussion include references to: 
     Colour - How does the colour create contrast and emphasis?
    -  Texture – How does texture add to the overall effect of the design?
    -  Technical Accomplishment - How does attention to detail contribute to the overall effect of the design?
  4. Ask volunteers to share some ideas with the whole class.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their clay hanging baskets – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the artwork, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - CLAY_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - CLAY_self-assessment.pdf)