After I have my Kindergarten students make simple Pinch Pot Owls, I follow up by having them make these fish. This lesson builds on the pinching and forming skills students learned with the Owls, but goes in a little more depth on adding pieces with slip and score.
Students will create a simple pinch pot as a base for making a clay fish. Using slip and score, students will add fins and a tail to the pot. Once the piece has been fired, they will decorate with watercolor paints.
The first day, I have students look at different kinds of fish and draw three different kinds in their sketchbooks.
Students can draw the fish from memory or use this little worksheet to jog their memories.
After students have drawn their fish, I talk a little bit about wedging to prepare them for the next class.
On the second day the students wedge the clay and make a simple pinch pot based on the first half of this video.
I print out labels with each student’s name and class name on them. The students put their pot in a little plastic bag and stick the label on it. Then they put it in a box near the front of the room.
I have a little rhyme we say several times before we go back and make the pot: “Bag it! Tag It! Put it in the Box!”
On the third day, students use slip and score to attach fins and tails to their fish. When they are done, I have two box lids up near the front of the room with the name labels stuck on the bottom. Students find their name and put their piece on top of it. After students have put their fish in the box, I go in with a needle tool and carve names on the bottom of the fish.
While you fire the fish, you may want to take this time to underglaze the owls that the kids made before they made the fish.
On the final day, you can use watercolor paint as an inexpensive alternative to using glaze or underglaze for decorating (as well and cut down on using the kiln so much.)