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Amazing Marbleized Clay Pots

Create a multicolored, decorative clay vase or dish. Fill it with dried flowers, seashells, or other beautiful items. This is a unique, handmade gift to treasure.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Students find information about different colors of natural clay. They will learn that minerals (or stones) give clay its color. They may be familiar with porcelain (white clay, often used for fine china) and terra-cotta (red or rust-colored, such as plant pots).
    2. Sometimes two or more clay colors are mixed a little to create a marbleized look. Here’s one way for students to easily create this cool effect! Thoroughly blend Crayola Tempera Paint into a ball of Crayola Air-Dry Clay. Then LIGHTLY mix in a little more plain clay, just until streaks appear. It’s marbleized!
    3. On a paper plate, students roll a finger-size coil of marbleized clay. With the rest of it, students use their fingers to create a pinch pot vase or bowl. Try to form an interesting shape! Place the pot upside down on a ball of crumpled newspaper. Dampen the bottom of the pot with some water. Attach a coil to make a base. Air-dry the pot for at least 2 days.
    4. What natural objects would look beautiful inside the bowl or vase? Arrange seed pods, paper flowers, stones, or feathers inside, for example. What a wonderful, unique gift!
  • Standards

    LA: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.

    SCI: Construct explanations of phenomena using knowledge of accepted scientific theory and linking it to models and evidence.

    SS: Describe and speculate about physical system changes, such as seasons, climate and weather, and the water cycle.

    SS: Explore ways that the earth's physical features have changed over time in the local region and beyond and how these changes may be connected to one another.

    VA: Describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses.

    VA: Know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationships to various cultures.

    VA: Understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.

    VA: Identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.

  • Adaptations

    In the study of the geology of a land region, students will include research on the factors that contribute to different regional clay colors. Students can include in their research the color(s) of clay found in an area and hypothesize the combination of elements that create that color. Students will then be challenged to create a second clay figure using a similar clay combination. A written explanation of student research and chemical elements responsible for clay color should be included in the classroom display of these art pieces.

    Students create a PowerPoint presentation of their research, including photographs from the region researched and examples of clay artworks. Students can add audio to their PowerPoint presentations and upload them to a classroom computer for viewing.

    Students research the history of pottery as an art form. Once this background information is sufficient, students may choose a variety of artists to research their lives and home countries, influence on the art community, technique(s), and materials used to create this form of artwork. Students will organize researched information into a play format, as a conversation among artists sharing their lives as artists.

    If sufficient materials are available in the classroom, allow students to experiment with the mixture of clay colors to create additional artworks. Have students write color amounts used in each experimental piece for future reference.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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