Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Texture, Texture, Read All About It

Deborah Walther
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students use clay to create a slab vase with a surface design that emphasizes the elements shape and texture.


The student uses two-dimensional and three-dimensional media, techniques, tools, and processes to communicate an idea or concept based on research, environment, personal experience, observation, or imagination.

The student uses tools, media, processes, and techniques proficiently, knowledgeably, and in a safe and responsible manner.

The student knows how the elements of art and the principles of design can be used to solve specific art problems.

The student uses effective control of media, techniques, and tools when communicating an idea in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art.


-Clay (may be self hardening type if a kiln is unavailable)
-Modeling tools such as tongue depressors, sticks, and anything else that will make an impression
-Plastic wrap to maintain the clay's leather stage so it will not dry out in between sessions
-Brown paper bags with a variety of objects that have different surface textures
--Art Production Criteria Checklist- (see Associated File)
--Evaluation Checklist- (see Associated File)


1. Collect various objects and place in brown paper bags for students to have an opportunity to rely on their sense of touch and describe what is in the bags.
2. Make copies of the -Art Production Criteria Checklist- for each student. This may also be written on the board for students to view. (see Associated File)
3. Have enough clay for each student to have 4 pounds each. This can vary. If you have less clay at your disposal, assign a small vase. If you have plenty of clay, you may assign the vase to be a required height that is larger.
4. Have a collection of modeling tools and things to impress into the clay to create textures.
5. Download and make copies of the -Evaluation Checklist.- (one per student; see Associated File)


Day One:
1. Hand each student a brown paper bag that contains an assortment of objects such as bits of sandpaper, twigs, shells, nuts, fabric scraps etc.

2. Ask the students to not look in the bags but to put their hands into the bags and feel each of the shapes. Have students try to guess what each object is and describe the tactile quality or how each feels on a sheet of paper. (This can be done as an individual or as a group. It can be written or oral.)

3. After the students have completed the brown bag project, lead them in a discussion on texture, an element of design that defines the surface quality or how something feels. Ask the students how they might create actual textures on a work in clay. Responses will vary as to scratch the clay, impress objects into clay, etc.

4. Assign the students a project in which they will build a textured vase using the slab method and at least three different types of texture on the body of the vase.

5. Review the formative criteria for the finished product that will also be used as an evaluative criterion upon completion of the project. This can be found in the Associated File and is entitled -Art Production Criteria Checklist-.

6. Review the basics of the slab technique and how to score and slip each section that is to be joined. Walk around and monitor the progress of each student and be sure to give praise when students exhibit the correct techniques.

7. Students should complete the building of their vases in one class period. Require students to sign their names to the bottom of the vase. The vase should be loosely wrapped in plastic so that it will become leather hard but not dry out for the second day.

Day Two:
8. Encourage the students to use a variety of tools and objects to create imaginative textures on their vases which should now be leather hard, a stage in which it is firm enough to maintain its form but moist enough to impress or carve in textures.

9. Upon completion of their vases, have students complete a self-evaluation of their project. This can be found in the Associated File and is entitled -Art Production Criteria Checklist.-

10. Projects should be allowed to dry until bone dry and then fired to the appropriate temperature in a kiln. Students may finish their projects with glaze. Students may instead choose to cover their projects with a layer of ink or paint and then sponge off the excess, leaving the ink in the crevices to highlight their textures.

11. Formative evaluation is based upon the criteria reviewed when assignment was given (see Associated File - -Art Production Criteria Checklist-.)


1. Observe students participating in the discussion about textures.

2. Students create a list of objects they think are in the bags and their descriptions of them.

3. Students should show mastery of the use of tools, techniques, and materials noted by teacher observation.

4. Students complete the assigned project in accordance with the specified criteria. This is located in the Associated File and is entitled -Art Production Criteria Checklist.-

5. Students complete a self- evaluation upon completion of their project. This is located in the Associated File and is entitled -Art Production Criteria Checklist.-

6. Projects are evaluated based upon the specified criteria. This is located in the Associated File and is entitled -Art Production Criteria Checklist.-

7. The -Evaluation Checklist- is a tool the teacher may use to record mastery of the targeted benchmarks and standards. It is located in the Associated File as the -Evaluation Checklist.-


1. Students may create rubbings using paper and crayon or pencil on a variety of surfaces they discover throughout the room to further illustrate the element texture.
2. Students may create rubbings using paper and crayon on the textures of their finished vases and compare them to the earlier rubbings.
3. Students may use shoe polish on their fired pottery to create the look of wood or leather. This also emphasizes the textures on the vase, as the shoe polish tends to be darker in the crevices.
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