Make a Clay Pot

By Anastasia Suen

Make a Clay Pot
Homeschool Activity for
The Pot That Juan Built

written by Nancy Andrews-Goebel,
illustrated by David Diaz

Activity by Anastasia Suen

Now that you know how Juan built his pots, you can build one too! Juan digs his clay out of the earth and fires it in a kiln. If you buy Fimo or Sculpey clay at the market, you can bake it at home in your oven.

Fimo or Sculpey clay (or self-hardening clay)
waxed paper
small plate
small piece of cardboard
cookie sheet
sealed baking bag
acrylic paint

Take a small amount of clay and roll it in your hands to warm it up. Then pat the clay into a flat "tortilla" and place it on waxed paper spread over a small plate.

Take another lump of clay to make the sausage "chorizo." Roll the clay in your hands to warm it up. Then roll out a long, fat sausage.

Wrap the sausage "chorizo" around the edge of the "tortilla" to make the wall of the pot. Use your hands to smooth the wall of the pot and give it shape.

If you would like to add patterns to your pot, use a toothpick to carve designs into the clay.

(If you use self-hardening clay, skip the next step and wait 24 hours for the clay to harden.)

Bake your pot in your home oven. Make sure the room is well ventilated and follow the directions on the clay package. An adult will need to do or supervise the baking.

Preheat the oven and place your pot on a piece of cardboard on a cookie sheet. For maximum safety, bake the pot inside a sealed baking bag-like the one you use for turkey-and discard the bag after use.

*Please follow the directions carefully, as overheating the clay may create toxic fumes.

After the pot has baked, take it out of the oven and let it cool. The clay will continue to harden as it dries.

Once the clay has cooled, you can paint the pot with acrylic paint. Older children may wish to use sandpaper and smooth the outside of the pot before painting it. This is similar to the method Juan uses.

Share pictures of your clay pot. Take a digital photo and post it in our Photobucket album.

Happy creating!

Author/educator Anastasia Suen began teaching in the home. The author of over 100 books for children, she has also taught kindergarten to college in the classroom. Today homeschoolers use her blogs for book activities, reading lists, and writing lessons.

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