Creating art is what makes humans special, and people have been making art long before writing was even invented! Some of the oldest artwork includes sculptures. This 2 class period activity teaches students about prehistoric art and gives them a chance to create their own sculptures.
This download is a zip file and includes a 15 slide PowerPoint presentation, a lesson plan, and a grading rubric for the art project. The PowerPoint explains the difference between BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era) time to help students understand how old the artwork is. There are 7 images of prehistoric sculptures from various countries, which will give students the opportunity to discuss what they see and share their observations. The lesson plan describes how to teach students how to create small ceramic sculptures that demonstrate their understanding of very ancient art. The directions are for earthenware clay, but any other type of clay could be substituted if there isn’t an available kiln.
This hands-on activity is great to do at the beginning of the school year, as an introduction to a ceramics unit, or as a prequel to ancient art. From Ancient Egypt
is an easy follow-up lesson if you like to teach in chronological order.
Note: Pictures of Steatopygous Female Figure and Bird Lady are included in the PowerPoint.
This work by Klaire Pearson
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License