Notes of Lessons: Clay-modelling, Class II

Notes of Lessons: Clay-modelling, Class II

[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 II • Time: half-hour

By B. M. Dismoor
The Parents’ Review, 1903, pp. 308-309


I. To introduce the children to a new handicraft, and to show them how to deal with a new material by modelling a plant pot and saucer.

II. To increase observation and appreciation of beauty in form.

III. To give the children the pleasure of creating.

IV. To concentrate the children’s attention and to increase their patience and perseverance.


Step I.—Ask the children to tell the various objects that can be made of clay, and where it is chiefly manufactured. It is manufactured at Worcester in England, at Sѐvresin France, and at Dresden in Germany. Pottery is also made by all uncivilized peoples. It is a very ancient art: it was known to the ancient Egyptians. Ask the children what the Egyptians would have used it for. It was used for making vases and also figures of gods. Clay was used to write upon in ancient times.

Step II.—Take two lumps of clay of about equal size; roll them between the hands so that two equal balls are formed. Let the children watch while you make the saucer, giving directions as you do so. Take one ball and flatten it on the board with the ball of the thumb, to the thickness of about 3/4 inch. Loosen the clay from the board, and work up the inside edges with the thumb, always working away from yourself, and moving the saucer round and round. When the saucer has been well worked up at the edges, make five marks at equal distances along the rim. Then at each mark bend the rim outwards between the thumb and fingers. Let the children copy exactly: do not touch their models.

Step III.—To make the pot. Let the children first watch while you make the model.

Take the other ball of clay, and, placing the thumbs back to back, push them into the middle, drawing the outside upwards with the fingers. Turn the model round and round, always working at the side opposite to you. Be careful not to make the pot too wide at the top. Pinch the sides to the same thickness and height all round. Make a hole in the bottom with the forefinger, pushing it through first from the inside and then from the outside. Crinkle the edge of the pot to match the saucer. Let the children copy exactly.