Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Clay Fish Sculpture Lesson Plan

Instructional Methods in D.B.A.E

K-12 Visual Arts

Clay Fish Sculpture Lesson Plan

Multicultural / Asian Science

Adaptable to all grades


Mignon Slentz

Title: Clay Fish (Koi) Sculpture Grades: Adaptable to all but written for grades 3-5
Sessions: 4 sessions (50 minutes per session)

Academic Integrations: social studies and science

Goal: Students will use clay to make a three-dimensional art form


Students will: learn the Asian cultural background of the Koi fish, learn how to identify and correctly draw a fish, use clay to make a fish sculpture, create textures and patterns in clay, demonstrate craftsmanship, explore ceramic decorating techniques.

National Standards for the visual Arts: grades 3-5

Art Criticism- 1.1 describe works of art. 1.2 analyze, identify & discuss art elements. 1.5 share or evaluate own artwork.

Art History- 2.1 can associate works of art with cultures or time periods. 2.2 understand the influences of art.

Aesthetics- 3.1 art issues: the purpose of art, engage in aesthetic inquiry by discussing responses to art.

Art Production- 4.1 elements of art. 4.2 principles of design. 4.6 create a three-dimensional art form. 4.7 create a pottery form. 4.12 create a work of art that shows the influence of a particular culture.

Vocabulary- Nishikigoi (Koi), Carp, China & Japan (locate on world map), “swimming flowers”, “living jewels”, barbels, gills, dorsal, fin, sculpture, texture, slab roller, slab construction.

Materials- fish visuals, paper, 6’x9’ pattern paper, pencils, scissors, canvas mats, slabs of clay, plastic knives, clay tools, rolling pins, textures, bowls/plastic bags, ceramic glazes, brushes.

Media- show two Power points.

Procedures:Culture/ History: Session one - Introduction and motivation…..1. PowerPoint and discussion of Asian art depicting Koi.Nishikigoi, commonly referred to as “Koi” are the national fish of Japan. “Nishiki” means colored cloth and “Goior Koi” is the Japanese name for carp. Iran is thought to be the ancestral home of the Common Carp, from which Koi were first developed. This wild carp, which is an excellent food source, was carried to China, Japan and Western Europe by traders about a thousand years ago. A first account of them being kept by an emperor in Japan apparently dates back to AD 200. There are actually many theories and dates relating to the original introduction of the Koi. The wild carp has long been a symbol to Asian and Far Eastern countries and has been evident in their paintings, utensils, pottery sculptures and carvings. For hundreds of years, farmers in Japan have been raising Koi for extra food in the ponds they used to flood their rice paddies. About 200 years ago one of the farmers noticed a carp with some red color. Some of the farmers started separating the fish that had different coloration, and breeding them together. Some were kept as pets and in 1914 some of the most beautiful varieties were shown at an exposition in Tokyo and presented to the Crown Prince Hirohito. With the development of air travel, Koi started to migrate to other countries and were introduced to California in the mid 1960s where they became popular residents of fish enthusiast’s back yard ponds.

2. Students will look at pictures of a Koi or other fish and be able to identify the different features.

3. Students will practice drawing fish, adding gills, fins, tails, eyes etc. If time, textures can be drawn in (scales, patterns, designs, etc.). These can be saved for a later lesson.

4. Students will draw a fish filling a 6”x9” scratch paper making sure there are no narrow parts. Cut out. This will be used as a template / pattern.

Production:Session Two:
Preparation- Have enough clay slabs rolled out for each student. Canvas mats, clay tools, water and textures should be on the tables.
Students will watch PowerPoint on clay fish slab construction and discuss if there are questions.
1. Students will each have their paper fish pattern and be given a slab of clay.

2. Students will place their pattern on the fish and trace around the paper cutting into the clay. Remove scraps from around fish and save for adding features.

3. Using water, smooth cut edges of the fish with your finger. Press or roll on several (at least 2) textures into the clay (plastic texture
sheets, lace, nylon string bags etc.).

4. Using scraps of clay, make an eye and attach by pressing edges with a tool (texture with the end of a screw). Cut or roll a strip of clay to form gill line behind the eye and attach with a tool. Cut a triangular shape for the side fin and attach with a tool. Lines or patterns can be added. Add a mouth.

5. Write name and teacher on the back with a tool.

6. Place flat in a box or set into a bowl for a curved shape or drape upside down over a wadded up plastic bag and let dry.

Session Three:
Preparation: bisque- fire clay fish. Prepare glazes.
1. Students will glaze their clay fish (or watercolor).

Session Four:
Preparation: glaze-fire clay fish and return to students

Students will self-evaluate their fish sculptures using the following questions.
A score of 9 and above = E A score of 8 and below = S

1. Is your fish approximately 5” x 8”?

2. Does your fish have a dorsal (top) fin?

3. Does your fish have a bottom fin?

4. Did you add a side fin?

5. Is there an eye?

6. Are the sides of the fish smooth?

7. Did all your parts stay attached after the 1st firing?

8. Are there at least 2 different textures?

9. Did you add any other decorations/patterns?
10. Did you apply several coats of glaze?
11. Did you use at least 3 colors?
12. Did you show good craftsmanship /neatness?
13. Did YOU write your name and teacher’s initial on
the back?

Resources: Clay fish sculpture*http://www.princetonal.com/groups/iad/lessond/middle/Lessons/7th-cerfish.htmKoi*http://swimmingjewels.com/koi_history.html*http://www.koiscapes.com/cat361.html*http://www.netpets.com/fish/reference/freshref/nishi.html

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