Ceramic Elephant Art Lesson

These baby elephants are adorable. My third grade kids created them in the very same manner as the ceramic pigs, but instead of little ears and a snout, the children created big flapping ears and a trunk.

In order to be successful with the hollow form method of making an animal, the children must have some knowledge of working with clay and be able to create two pinch pots without too much trouble. I think younger kids who have had little experience with pinch pots would do fine as long as they had lots of help.

We used Laguna underglaze and Duncan Dipping Glaze and fired to around cone 06. I say around as I have a finicky kiln and I seriously have no idea how hot it actually gets in there. I didn’t enforce any particular color and set out 8 colors for the kids to choose from. I love the various colors, especially this wonderful blue and green guy!

One caveat…make sure the kids scratch-attach the trunks and tusks really, really well. These appendages are so easily broken and trust me when I say, it is laborious trying to piece these things together again. Oh, and vinegar doesn’t really help with magic mending. I tried.


  1. alexandra says:

    lovely, lovely, lovely!

  2. Cheryl Hancock says:

    Just love the elephants Patti You get amazing results !!!

  3. Cheryl Hancock says:

    Just luv them Patti.

  4. Cheryl Hancock says:

    Patti I love your Fonts on your pages Are you happy to share what you have!!

  5. sharon says:

    I am so grateful that you share your ideas. You talk about mending projects. What do you use that works- and at what stage (bisque, glaze, etc)?

  6. Lauren says:

    HI Patti- these are amazing- I’d like to do a similar project with my students inspired by the book, Elmer. Are the bodies hollow? How big are they? They all have so much personality! Thanks for sharing.

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About Patty

Welcome to DSS. I'm an art teacher to 400 elementary kids in Goleta, California. This is where you will find a library of art lessons, handy PDF lesson plans and resources to make teaching art to kids a whole lot easier.
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