Clay Vessels Inspired by Ancient Civilizations in 5th Grade Art

In Social Studies, 5th Grade students have been learning about the lives of prehistoric humans, using timelines, maps, and artifacts to explore how these first humans used the natural environment to meet their needs. This includes the invention of pottery, which early humans crafted from clay by hand, developing some of the same techniques still in use today. In Art class, 5th Graders looked at examples of ancient pottery before stepping in the role of early makers themselves as they worked in small groups to construct large clay vessels.

To build the basic structure of these functional objects, students used a coiling method commonly employed throughout the ancient world. Next, 5th Graders will work individually to make a series of decorative elements like figurines which will be attached to the vessels before collaborating on decisions about color and design for glazing. When complete, these large-scale ceramics will be kept at school for use in classrooms and offices – adding yet another layer of consistency with the traditional approach of ancient peoples, who would have generally built such vessels for shared use by their community.