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Woodland Critter Pinch Pots

Begin with a basic pinch pot, add geometric shapes and end up with woodland critters that scurry and scatter about.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Read “The Mitten” by Jan Brett to the students as a read aloud.
    2. Discuss the illustrations, characters, animals and theme of the book. Let student know that they will be making a woodland animal using a modeling compound.
    3. Using electronic devices or books, have students research woodland animals that they are interested in learning more about.
    4. Review geometric shapes with students and demonstrate how to make 3-D shapes and a pinch pot with Model Magic. Roll a sphere, cylinder and mold a cone. Make a pinch pot by rolling a sphere, press thumb into the center, then pinch up the walls. Turn the piece as you pinch.
    5. Once students choose their woodland critter they should try and make a 3-D model using Crayola Model Magic. Begin with a pinch pot form and then add geometric shapes to create heads, snouts, eyes, mouths, arms, legs, ears, or tails. Students can use imaginary color combinations or natural colors. Beads can be added as embellishment and texture can be made with recycled objects.
    6. Put finished creatures in a display case with student’s name next to their creation along with the inspirational Jan Brett book, “The Mitten”.
  • Standards

    LA: Describe characters, setting, and major events in a story, using key details.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Speak audibly and express thought, feeling, and ideas clearly.

    MATH: Reason with shapes and their attributes.

    MATH: Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.

    SS: Locate and distinguish among varying landforms and geographic features, such as mountains, plateaus, islands, and oceans.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

    VA: Through experimentation, build skills in various media and approaches t art-making.

  • Adaptations

    The illustrations of Jan Brett are realistic, detail oriented and magical. Have students create a class book in her style. The class should decide on a theme and each page should have a main illustration. The edges of the each page should have a separate story unfolding. Students should use Crayola watercolor colored pencils. Woodland animals are common themes in Pacific Northwest Native American Art. Look at various paintings and wood carvings. The artwork has a very stylized bold look and a limited color palette. Have students create a painting of an animal in the Pacific Northwest Indian style. Draw with pencil first and then use Crayola tempera paint. Display the paintings in a vertical row similar to a totem pole.


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