1. Assess comprehension from "Ceramics: A Vessel into History-Lesson 1" in a written or oral test. Students should be
able to identify the culture that created the artworks studied in Lesson 1 and place the artworks on a timeline.
2. With the class, discuss the roles of the archaeologist and art historian. Ask them questions such as:
Who studies and writes about works of art made many years ago?
What does an archeologist do?
What is archaeology?
What does an art historian do?
What is art history?
Record student answers on the board or a large sheet of paper.
Note: Career information can be introduced here with insight into useful areas of study for students interested in pursuing
3. Discuss the process of hypothesizing and making informed guesses. Challenge students to list aspects of a ceramic vessel
that could provide clues about an earlier culture (function, construction technique, shape, surface quality and decoration, etc.).
4. Review vocabulary related to clay-building and demonstrate techniques, including coil, slab, stamping, incising, piercing,
5. Introduce the art-making assignment by posing the following scenario to the class:
"Future archaeologists and art historians will find many objects that give clues about the culture in which we live. Create
an art form that could provide such clues in the future. The form must be a clay vessel that expresses meaning from our
Have students describe the following aspects of the vessel they plan to create in their journals:
function: What will your vessel be used for?
construction technique: What technique will you use to construct your vessel?
shape: What shape will your vessel be? How does the shape make the vessel useful for its function?
surface quality and decoration: How will you decorate your vessel?
symbolic elements: Describe any symbols or symbolic elements you plan to include.
6. For homework, ask students to think about and sketch a design for their clay vessels.
Visual Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools
Grades 9–12 Proficient
1.0 Artistic Perception
Develop Perceptual Skills and Visual Arts Vocabulary
1.1 Identify and use the principles of design to discuss, analyze, and write about visual aspects in the environment
and in works of art, including their own.
2.0 Creative Expression
Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Visual Arts
2.1 Solve a visual arts problem that involves the effective use of the elements of art and the principles of design.
3.0 Historical and Cultural Context
Role and Development of the Visual Arts
Diversity of the Visual Arts
3.3 Identify and describe trends in the visual arts and discuss how the issues of time, place, and cultural influence are
reflected in selected works of art.
5.0 Connections, Relationships, Applications
Connecting and Applying What Is Learned in the Visual Arts to Other Art Forms and Subject Areas and to Careers
5.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the various skills of an artist, art critic, art historian, art collector, art gallery
owner, and philosopher of art (aesthetician).
National Standards for Visual Arts Education
1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
a. Apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried
out in their artworks.
b. Conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates
to the media, techniques, and processes they use.
2. Using knowledge of structures and functions
c. Create artworks that use organizational principles and functions to solve specific visual arts problems.
3. Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
a. Reflect on how artworks differ visually, spatially, temporally, and functionally, and describe how these are related to
history and culture.
4. Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
c. Analyze relationships of works of art to one another in terms of history, aesthetics, and culture, justifying conclusions
made in the analysis and using such conclusions to inform their own art making.
5. Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
b. Describe meanings of artworks by analyzing how specific works are created and how they relate to historical
and cultural contexts.