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Clay Duck Decoys
By: Jane Stricker for Sargent Art
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Target Group: Grade K
Goal (Terminal Objective): Sculpture, Collage
Objective: Students will identify the different ways artists make their ideas visual, using memory, observation, and imagination with this lesson from Sargent Art. Students will create a three-dimensional sculpture of a duck decoy and place it in an environment.
Purpose: Students will identify line, shape, and color as art elements. Students will identify sculpture as an art form. Students will identify the characteristics of clay building. Student will identify decoy carving as a utilitarian craft that has grown into a form of art. Student will explore ways artists record their impressions of a natural environment. Students will create a three-dimensional sculpture of a duck decoy and place it in an environment.
New Vocabulary: form, artist, sculptor, shape, texture, environment, art form, craft, two-dimensional artwork, three-dimensional artwork
Time: This lesson may be modified from one to five hours, depending upon the size and complexity of expectations.
Introduction and Motivation (Set):
View photos of duck decoy carvers and carvings, as well as photos of duck decoys in use.
Discuss how Native Americans used cattails and other grasses and rushes for items of construction for the essential hunting tool duck decoys. Etchings of decoys being used as hunting tools were found on primitive carvings.
Colonial Americans carved decoys and painted them very realistically. In present times, duck decoy collectors compete to purchase hand-painted duck decoys.
7. View photos of decoys to prompt a color discussion; demonstrate painting the decoy.
(The decoy may be made out of clay, fired, and glazed. The environment may be constructed during clay firing time.)
8. Discuss the environment for the duck decoy.
(2) Independent Practice and Check for Understanding: Teacher circulates among working students visually recording students demonstrating understanding of objectives and provides reinforcement.
(3) Closure: Students record as a group, either by checklist or writing prompt, the symbols used, the connection to the exemplar, and the innovations they provided to their composition.*
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