Hand building clay pots

For students of 8th to 9th grade.

Name of Lesson: Coil pot building 
Grade Level: Year 9
Subject: Visual Art

Overview and Purpose: For students to understand and be able to successfully hand build a clay coil or slab pot. This is to teach them the technique so they can use this when making their own pot later in the unit relating to their personality or culture.

	Teacher Guide	Materials guide
Objectives (specify skills/ information that will be learned):	Learn to create even coils. Learn to correctly join clay together using scoring and slip. Learn clay terminology and equipment. Learn to roll out a clay slab and how to cut clay. Develop understanding of the importance of not developing air bubbles in work and what will happen if clay isn’t joined correctly.	

Information (Give and or demonstrate necessary information)	https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dsOf2uj3Zw

May wish to develop worksheet showing steps for correct building.

Students will watch the YouTube clip of Patricia Bridges of Bridges pottery demonstrating how she constructs slab and coil pots.

The teacher will also give a demonstration of how to construct a straight coil pot using the tools available in the classroom (unlikely that all the utensils shown on the clip will be available) and also how to roll out a slab and create a small slab pot. Will focus primarily on correct joining techniques and smoothing. 	

Need access to projector and computer to view clip.
Clay boards/ clay tools/ clay/ slip for demonstration

Verification (Steps to check for student understanding):	Student and teacher discussion asking what is important to consider when constructing pots from clay. Key questions about what was witnessed on YouTube video. Understanding will also be checked through the success of their own coil and slab practice pots. 
Activity (describe the independent activity to reinforce this lesson):	Students will construct their own small coil pot and slab pot demonstrating correct joining techniques. (practice pot before embarking upon cultural identity pot) 	
Clay/ clay boards/ slip/ clay tools. (a clay extruder such as the one shown in the clip would be ideal but it may not be available in which case students will need to hand roll coils.)

Summary:	These practice pots are a good way to get the students exposed to working with clay and understand the basics before they undertake the larger practical task. If glazing is intended to be used these practice pots would also be good to keep and fire ahead of the major works so the students can try different glazes on them before applying them to their final.	

Lesson sequence: Introduction: Will explain the underlying purpose of the lesson involving correct building techniques and that the students will get to play with the clay. Will also explain that these are practice pieces that will give them the skills to create a pot that reflects their own culture and personality. 

Will show them pictures and or actual pots that demonstrate the techniques they are about to use. The different shapes and textures that are possible.

Will show them the YouTube clip first so they can see what a professional potter looks like at work and how what they are about to do relates. After viewing will have a short question and answer session to check their understanding. 

Will then take them to the clay room/ area to be used and do a quick demonstration of how they will make their own little versions of a clay and slab pot. (would ideally like to have a little coil pot and little slab pot already prepared so they can see what the demonstration is working towards.) In this demonstration will focus on correctly making a coil and slab and correctly joining clay.

Student will then go to their own work stations and be given some clay to begin building their own practice pots. The teacher will be walking around at this stage helping where necessary. 

Teacher will go around to each student individually as the lesson draws to an end and comment on how successfully each student has a) made their coils b) made their slab and c) joined the clay. Areas for improvement/ things to be careful of should be reiterated here so that when they begin their actual piece they don’t repeat the mistakes from the smaller version. 

Summary: bring the class back in at the end of the lesson and discuss what they found difficult about the process and how they could improve.