The Art of the Ceramic Storyteller

DescriptionStudents will create a terra cotta ceramic storyteller figure while they learn about Native American traditions of oral history, storytelling, and handbuilt ceramics. Students will see videos of actual Native American Storytellers, hear audio of poetry and see visuals of Native American artwork and ceramics. The role of the elders will be discussed and personal family stories will be recorded. This ceramic lesson will include history and writing as well as cultural awareness of diversity.


Students engaged in this project will learn to hand build a sculpture with attachements, out of terra cotta clay, in the style of the Native American sculptors. Students will examine writing genres of legends, fables and fantasy. They will see and hear authentic Native Artists retelling stories and reading poetry. Students will be introduced to Native American Art, History, cultural differences, the tradition of oral history and the importance of elders in the Native American family.


This project requires a variety of visual aids. I will use videos of actual Native American stories being told, audios of poetry being read. Large posters of the handbuilding process of ceramics will be essential. Various pictures of Native American Artwork, Geography and a History Timeline would be helpful as well. I plan on having my handbuilt demonstration videotaped, and with film and still pictures extracted, make a powerpoint presentation to introduce this lesson to my students.

Other Information

I am an art instuctor at Tri Creek School Corporation. I teach children, not just art. Art is a great place for students to learn more about writing, history, and math. This year my desire is to further enrich my lessons with the use of powerpoint presentations and using a digital projector to share visual images with my students. My students all make creative and reflective books. Basic math using measurment, proportion and geometry are incorporated into art lessons as well.

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