Clay Coil Sculptures – by Katie Temple

Lesson Plan Title: Clay Coil Sculptures –  By Katie Temple

 Materials: clay, tablecloths, squirt bottle of water, your hands!

 Grade: K-8


Vocabulary: coil-building, three-dimensional, weight, balance


  • Learn how to create coils out of clay that are consistent in width.
  • Utilize coil-building techniques to create a three-dimensional form out of clay.
  • Consider balance and weight as key factors in creating tall, three-dimensional sculpture.


  1. Give each student a softball-sized chunk of clay
  2. Demonstrate how to create coils out of clay that are consistent in width. Depending on class size, demonstrate at each table.
  3. Have each student create coils out of all of their clay.
  4. Once students run out of clay, explain how they will be working in their table groups to see which team can create the tallest, coil sculpture in the remaining time.
  5. Explain rules: 1. Must be made out of coils 2. Must be hallow, cannot be soild 3. Has to stand on its own
  6. Competition time! Walk around and help groups with making coils. If a group runs out of clay, be sure to give the other groups the same amount of clay
  7. Once time runs out, measure each sculpture or stand them by each other so everyone can see them
  8. After reflection time, have student destroy sculptures, place in ball, and hand back to instructor.

Reflection: Why is one sculpture taller than another? Whose coils are the most consistent in width? Which sculpture is the most organic?