Grade: Middle

#1358. The Pottery Project

Social Studies, level: Middle
Posted Thu Oct 21 15:48:07 PDT 1999 by Joseph Maiello (
Mattlin Middle School, Plainview, NY
Materials Required: Clay pots, paint, brushes, white glue, hammer, baggies
Activity Time: 4-6 days
Concepts Taught: Native American Culture, Archaeology

Begin lesson by assigning a different Native American culture region to each group in your class. The group will then decorate a clay pot to reflect the culture of their assigned region. While paint is the most fun, colored pencils work best. Clay pots of a good size are readily available for less than 50 cents each. When the pots are decorated, place them in individual baggies and break them with a hammer. Redistribute the pots, to different groups, and ask students to glue them together. When the pots have been repaired, each group should analyze and intepret the designs on the pot, and decide which native Americans would have decorated such a pot. The groups report their findings to the class, and ask the group who painted the pot if their analysis was correct. You may decide to provide information about Native Americans to your students, or have them research it themselves.