Can we start a thread on lessons for kinders? It seems like mine go through
lessons so fast and I always need
more ideas for them! Here's one I tend to repeat with them (on an as needed
Modeling Clay Exploration
Students will discover ways their fingers or hands can change the shape of clay.
Students will develop manipulative skills.
Students will create forms in clay using their imaginations.
Modeling clay (plasticine), table mats, soapy paper towels for hand cleaning at
Show students the clay. Ask students if they have used modeling clay before.
Listen to two or three student stories about clay. Ask students what the clay
will feel like when they touch it. Listen to five or six predictions.
Show students the table mats and explain that the clay has to stay on the mat
and off the table. The mat keeps the table clean.
Pass out mats and clay. Everyone at a table group should get the same color
Issue “clay challenges” to get the students going with the clay- make one big
ball, make two balls the same size, make five different sized balls and
arrange them smallest to largest, make the longest snake you can, make the
tallest shape that will stand up.
Make a pancake, a doughnut, a face, an animal, a letter.
Students may make up the additional challenges themselves. Ask who can give us
a new challenge and call on students. Have everyone try the new challenges.
Look at the clay creations. Get students to describe their own, and get them
to describe what others have made.
Save 5 minutes for clean-up / closure. When it is time to stop, collect the
clay and have students stack the mats. Have students come sit on the carpet.
Pass out soapy towels to seated children. (this prevents sink jam, which will
take too long and create a mess.) While students are wiping their hands, ask
some wrap up questions.
How do you change the shape of clay?
What kinds of shapes did you make out of clay?
How does clay feel? What else do you know about that feels like clay? And so