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 Integrated Unit: A Tropical Rainforest

Updated December 15, 2005

Click for More on Clay Tile Construction Pictures



Hand Built Clay Tiles: Learning Outcomes.

   We are using the study of rainforest animals as the theme for creating a hand built clay relief tile during our art studio time. The animals the children chose were researched in their third grade academic classrooms through computer technology, science, and literature. Their acquired knowledge was then used to create a sketch in the art room, which became the pattern to trace on the slabs of clay. Through this lesson, the children developed an understanding of the properties and characteristics of clay, as well as, learned about the equipment and tools necessary to create their earthenwear tile. Our students learned the importance of using art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner and how to work collaboratively with a variety of people.

Important Art Vocabulary Associated with This Clay Project
  • Clay earth, including minerals and organic materials, that can be shaped when wet and baked to make pottery or tiles

  • Ceramics objects made of clay and fired at very high temperatures to make hard

  • Tile a thin, rectangular or square piece of fired clay

  • Composition the organization of a work of art

  • Pattern an original design used as a guide for coping

  • Trace to copy a drawing onto another surface by following the lines of the original drawing

  • Slip a paint/muddy liquid made of fine, dissolved clay used to seal attached clay pieces together

  • Scoring to rough/scratch clay to attach pieces together

  • Relief when something stands away from its background

  • Leather Hard air dried clay

  • Kiln a special oven used for processing clay

  • Fire a term used meaning to heat the clay in a special kiln/oven at a very high temperature until it is completely dry and hard

  • Bisque unglazed pottery after first firing

  • Underglaze a special type of color that is put on a ceramic piece before the glaze. It is used for painting and decorating and is good for detail work. It has no flux in its composition, so it stays where it is painted/put when fired.

  • Glaze a special clear liquid mixture that is applied to pottery and becomes a hard glass surface when fired to the correct temperature in a kiln





Click for the Integrated Lesson: The Great Kapok Tree Clay Bird Construction

                                         Click for Letter from Kathleen M. Quigney, Principal of Donegan Elementary School