Students in first grade began this lesson by viewing and comparing several examples of sculptures of animals. In each of the examples, students were guided to notice how the artist used materials, textures and embellishments to either express a unique quality about the animal depicted, or to add an element of fun or personal decoration to their creation. Some artists opted to made their sculptures resemble the animal in a realistic manner, while others made their sculptures more interesting with the creative use of line, color and shape.
Students were instructed to manipulate clay by pinching it, rather than subtracting and reattaching pieces, as children are often wont to do, resulting in significantly less strong sculptures. Students were required to only sculpt animals with legs, and to make certain the sculpture could stand and support itself on its legs. Once the sculptures were dried and fired, students added color using watercolors. They were also encouraged to consider whether they would paint/decorate their sculptures using life-like colors, or more creative possibilities.