Notes of Lessons: Clay Modelling, Class I

Notes of Lessons: Clay Modelling, Class I

[We have thought that it might be of use to our readers (in their own families) to publish from month to month during the current year, Notes of Lessons prepared by students of the House of Education for the pupils of the Practising School. We should like to say, however, that such a Lesson is never given as a tour de force, but is always an illustration or an expansion of some part of the children’s regular studies (in the Parents’ Review School), some passage in one or other of their school books.—Ed.]

Group: Handicrafts • Class I • Time: 20-30 minutes

By Christian Strachan
The Parents’ Review, 1909, p. 635


I. To introduce Eric to a new handicraft, and show him how to deal with a new material.

II. To give Dan some instruction in the modelling of a shell.

III. To give the children the pleasure of creating.

IV. To encourage their observation and appreciation of the beauty of form and proportion.


Step I.—Ask children to name any objects made of clay, such as basins, jars, vases, etc.

Step II.—Speak of Potteries, where men, with the assistance of machinery, make many beautiful things of clay. Refer to statues as something still more wonderful that can be made of clay. (Show them pictures.) Tell children that this art was known to the Egyptians, and ask them to name any objects that the Egyptians would have been likely to have made. (Example—jars, basins, and even idols). Pictures showing writing on clay. Show also pictures of vases, bottles, etc., “British Museum,” “Egyptian Rooms.”

Step III.—Contrast clay-modelling with painting. Speak of the nature of clay.

Step IV.—Get children to look at the objects they are to model (Dan, a shell; Eric, a banana), and observe their shape, surface, etc. Ask Dan how he is to begin his model—first the slab for the base.

Step V.—While Dan is making a base, show Eric how to model the banana, giving directions all the time. (Have the base ready for Eric.)

Step VI.—While Eric makes the banana, give Dan some instruction in the modelling of the shell, asking him first how he means to begin. Try to impress upon both children the necessity for using their thumbs in modelling. Tools not to be used till the last.

Materials.—Clay, slates, sponges, tools, etc.