Sunday, March 2, 2014

5th grade Face Jugs

I am getting this feeling that every time I introduce a lesson to my fifth graders, I keep repeating, "I'll have to be honest with you, this is really one of my favorite lessons."  And, I'm serious.  So, perhaps this is a good sign of progress for me as a teacher, but I really love the lessons I've done with my fifth graders this year.
So here it goes again, this is seriously one of my favorite lessons.  It incorporates so much: art history, US history, how artifacts tell stories about the past, clay creation (pinch pot, coil, addition, subtraction, surface design)...oh my!

There's an awesome video I have the students watch to start off this lesson.  We go into a deep discussion about how artifacts help us to know about different cultures.  The creation part is so much fun but I always am reminding them of the importance of these face jugs.

Here's the video if you'd like to see it:


  1. How many class periods do you spend creating these jugs? I see my 4th graders for only 35 minutes per class period, and I like to complete clay projects within one class period, as I just don't have the room to store six classes' worth of unfinished projects. I'm about to do face jugs again with my 4th graders, as I do each year, but am looking for ways to make them bigger, or taller, or... something. Just, better, ya know?

    Did you just use one pinch pot and add on from there? It kind of looks like some are tall - did you add coils to the top for height? Just trying to figure out your process... thanks a bunch!

  2. Hi! These took two class periods. I showed the students different ways and they constructed them from there. Most chose to make two pinch pots and attach them (like an enclosed oval) and then cut out an area for the top, from which they usually coiled a few more on to make it taller. Others did one pinch pot and went from there. I hope that helps!

    1. Thanks so much! I've always done face jugs using just one pinch pot, but this year I think I'll try using 2 and joining them on day 1, then adding facial features on day 2. Something new! Thanks for your input!