Lesson Objectives: Students will learn about form while hand sculpting a penguin.

Time Required:      Two sessions, 1 hour each 

Artist: Auguste Rodin, The Thinker

Materials (Day 1):                                                


Brown paper bag or cardboard placemats            

Small cups or lids of water                                   

Clay tools 

Materials (Day 2):

Glazes: black, white, and yellow


Dixie cups


Discuss form and scoring technique. 

Procedure, Session 1:

  1. Form a ball of clay into an oval shape for the penguin’s body. With your thumb, push a hole from the bottom of the oval inside to create a hollow space. (If this is not done, the ball of clay will be too thick. It will not be able to dry completely and will explode in the kiln.)
  2. Flatten the clay oval with the hole on the bottom on the desk so it sits without wobbling,
  3. Using your thumbs, make indentations for 2 feet on the bottom.
  4. Roll a small ball of clay for the head and attach to the top of the oval using the scoring technique.
  5. Add a beak with the scoring technique.
  6. With additional pieces of clay, shape 2 wings and attach to the body using the scoring technique.
  7. Score an oval for the belly and poke small holes for the eyes.
  8. Carve initials on the bottom.
  9. Let dry 14 days and bisque fire in kiln.

Procedure, Session 2:

  1. Remind the students that glaze should only go where the eye can see without lifting the piece.  While painting, rotate the piece by turning the placemat.
  2. Don’t get glaze on the bottom! Or use stilts in the kiln to prevent glaze from coming into contact with the kiln shelves.
  3. Use 2-3 coats for vibrant colors.
  4. Let dry overnight and glaze fire in kiln.