Lesson Plan Sculpting
- Books, photographs of North
- Clay tools
- Water containers
- Glazes and / or paint
- Identify animals / wildlife
found in North Carolina
- Identify animals / wildlife
habitats that are located throughout the three regions of
- Discuss how artists portray
animals/wildlife in three-dimensional form
- Create a clay animal / wildlife
from a North Carolina region
web site connections:
the land Animals: A scavenger hunt of objects inspired
Crystal King works with 4th graders in the
Billy Ray Hussey's Fu Lioness
- Clay sculpture
- Have students think about
all the animals that live in North Carolina. Begin by making
lists on the board. Divide these into the three regions
of North Carolina. Explain that wildlife is an important
resource for the state. Collect and display photographs
of animals that live in North Carolina.
- Explain that artists often
choose animals as subject matter. Many of these artists
are influenced by the animals that live around them in the
local environment. Other artists like to create animals
that live in other areas or are fantastic creatures of their
- Look at the animals that have
inspired North Carolina artists in the From
the Land section of the site.
How many of these wildlife
examples are found in North Carolina today? Look at animals
sculptures by clay artists Crystal
Ray Hussey. What type of animals are found in their
- Explain that students will
make clay sculptures of animals/wildlife that are found
in one or all of the three regions of North Carolina. To
learn as much about an animal as possible students will
need to do some preparatory work.
- Have students choose an
animal that currently lives in North Carolina. Have students
research their animal by making detailed drawings and recording
important facts. Have students assemble their information
in a poster format that showcases their drawing and lists
three facts about the animal/wildlife (habitat, characteristics,
etc.) Display students posters in the classroom. Students
are now ready to turn their investigations into three-dimensional
- Distribute clay. Have students
create three-dimensional sculptures. Be sure students understand
the concept of three-dimensions (width, height, depth) and
of sculpture (art in the round). To begin, students will
need to make a hollow clay body for their animal. This can
be done by forming the body of the animals and then digging
out clay from the underside with a clay tool. Hollow out
enough clay that will allow easy drying and reduce the weight
of the sculpture.
- After forming the body,
have students add heads and appropriate appendages. Students
will need to be careful to score (scratch the area where
the clay meets so that it will adhere better) the clay when
adding on these details.
- Next have students create
the textures found on the animal. An assortment of clay
tools will be handy to create the look of feathers, fur,
- When dry, use commercial
underglazes if desired and bisque fire the sculptures.
- Finally, glaze the vessels
for the final firing. If this step is omitted, paint the
sculptures using tempera, acrylic or watercolor paint.
- As an extra step, have students
create a three-dimensional diorama of the habitat and place
the animal in front of the backdrop. A shoebox makes a good
option for a display case for the sculpture and the diorama.
- Display the clay sculptures.
As students look at them, point out the variety of wildlife
that is found across North Carolina.
- Do students have an understanding
that artists use wildlife as inspiration for their artwork?
Can students identify a North Carolina artist that uses
wildlife as subject matter in his/her clay art?