Two of my fifth-grade students, Andrew Ciulla and Mallory Cheek, came to me one day and asked if they could make a clay project they had recently though
½ pound of clay per student
of. My response was, “Sure, why not?” We had
made quite a few clay projects this year and
1. Students rolled thick coils of clay and joined
in the past, so my students were familiar with
them to construct a bowl or cup.
basic clay techniques; this time they would
2. Students used extra clay to model and add
simply be making a new specific form.
the features of a face.
It turned out that Andrew and Mallory
3. Using coils of clay, students added handles
wanted to make cups or mugs that had faces
to their vessels, taking special care to attach
on them. They also wanted to be able to eat or
them to the body.
drink from their finished vessels. Their idea
4. Once the vessels were finished, they were
brought to mind the historic African American
glazed with a food-safe glaze.
tradition of making clay face jugs, which we
discussed and used as inspiration.
Andrew and Mallory helped me teach the les-
son, making several examples and helping other
students individually as needed. I was happy
the two came up with the idea and felt that
an historic African American tradition.
they could suggest it to me. In the end I made
sure to give them the credit they deserved. It
that have a human face and one or more
was a great experience for all.