Shirley Huller White

Grade 3: Art Education

All lessons presented here implement project and inquiry based learning strategies, and meet or exceed Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework standards.

Artwork presented here may NOT be reproduced in any way.

Art Lesson/Unit: Grade Level 3

Clay Creations: Fantastic Fish Vessels from Around the World

Enduring Understandings:

  • Artists of many ancient and modern cultures have created unusual or imaginary fish vessels made from clay.
  • When working with clay, artists may use hand-building techniques that join forms like pinch pots with clay slabs and coils.
  • Artists can use a variety modeling tools and glazing techniques to create expressive and decorative artwork.

Essential Questions:

  • How might your Fantastic Fish Vessel design be inspired by examples of historical and modern clay fish sculpture?
  • How can you use clay hand-building techniques to create your fish vessel?
  • How can you use a variety modeling tools and glazing techniques to create an expressive fish vessel?

Exemplars and Inspirations:

This lesson is inspired by historical and modern clay fish vessel designs from around the world, and animated characters from popular culture like Sponge Bob Square Pants and Nemo.

Materials and Techniques:

  • Low-fire clay and glaze
  • A variety of clay modeling tools


If a kiln is not available you can use air-drying clay or papier maché.