Early Childhood Studio Lesson
At the Michigan Art Educators Association State
Conference’s “Kids and
Clay” show, I really liked
a lesson I learned from teacher a fellow teacher, Christine Obeid. Back
at my school, I used it to great success with my kindergartners. In the
lesson, students make clay chickens
and chicken coops.
pieces of wax paper
to work on to keep
ing boxes from
sticking to the
ute four pieces of wood
for students and show
them how to glue them together to
make a box-like frame (an origami
box could be used instead). Have
students cut the straw into small
pieces and use it to line the nesting Craig Hinshaw teaches art at Hiller Ele-
boxes. Present them with their sur- mentary in Davison, Michigan. craighin-
prise eggs and return their chickens.
Display and enjoy!
For this les-
son, I brought a
live chicken to
school. My school
is in a suburb
of Detroit and I
doubted if many
of my students had experienced
a live chicken up close. Bringing
live animals to the classroom with
their movements, sounds, and even
smells always adds excitement and
a realness to the lesson that pic-
tures do not. Be sure and check
Read aloud a book such as Dora’s
Eggs by Julie Sykes. Provide pictures
of chickens for students to refer to
while working. If possible, bring
in a live chicken for students to
observe (in a cage).
with your administration first
before you bring any live animals to
Procedures for Clay Chickens
Have students use a golf-ball size
amount of clay to make a pinch pot
to serve as the body of the chicken.
Show them how
to pinch out a
tail, and then
shape a beak,
pinch a comb,
and add eyes.
Dry, bisque, and paint or glaze the
chickens. After students make their
chickens, make a small clay egg for
each box as a surprise for students
(or use candy eggs).
Students create miniature
clay chickens and coops
constructed from straw
Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
• 15/8 x ¼" wood lattice cut
to 3½" lengths
(four per student)
• cardboard cut to 3½ x 31/8"
(base of nesting box)
• paint or glaze
• real or craft straw
• white glue
• wax paper