Character Design; pre-clay fabrication

For students of 5th to 8th grade.


Name Emily Saint-Bowman
Year Level / Age Range 6-8
No. of Students: 18
Art Room
Estimated Duration of Activity:
Double Lesson (100 minutes)

Visual Arts

TOPIC: Clay; Character/creature design and fabrication

The purpose of this activity is to get the students into a design frame of mind in order to get them thinking about what makes a character cohesive for when they make their own individual designs out of clay. The design process is very important, as it creates a clear plan of what will be made and why. This can alleviate creative road-blocks during the fabrication process!

•	By the end of this lesson students will have the tools to be able to successfully design a character or creature stylistically belonging to a sci-fi, Disney or video game. They will consider their designs regarding the character’s habitat, backstory and denomination of good or evil.
•	Students will also be able to determine how character design incorporates a character or creature’s persona and also their culture
•	Students will also explore cultural sensitivity through character design as if the character were to be marketed in a world-wide film or video game.

In this lesson students will learn the importance of planning and design before beginning a practical project

They will also learn how a characters personal attributes affect their design and appearance

Students will learn the importance of being culturally aware and sensitive when designing a character that is intended to be seen by the world

Students will learn to collaborate and work as a team in order to achieve success.

Students will also learn to identify and critique the work of others in a constructive manner

•	Create booklet on the elements of character design to distribute to students
•	Create game cues


1.At the start of this lesson I will have a class discussion about character design. I will ask the students to name three characters they know from movies, TV or video games and we will discuss the attributes that character has and how they appear in the design of the character in the form of a brainstorm

2.The next part of this lesson will be set up in the form of a small group challenge. I will divide the students into randomly assigned groups of 3-4

3.Students will choose from a hat a cultural denomination, place/environment, a denomination of good/evil/hero/villain, a super power, a personality attribute and a form (i.e. animal, human, humanoid, alien etc)

4.Using the cues that I have given them, each team of students has until the rest of the lesson to collaboratively create a character that is cohesive and is culturally sensitive enough to be marketed in a film or video game.

5.Students will work collaboratively to come up with a coloured representation of their character and a short backstory.

6.I will stop the students 10 minutes before the lesson ends. Students will then walk around the class and observe each other’s work. They will anonymously vote for their favourite design (they cannot vote for their own). The winning team gets a small reward.

•	paper
•	paints
•	paint brushes
•	Drawing utensils (i.e. lead pencils, charcoal, pastel etc.)