Show visuals of fish. Ask students to tell you the different parts of the fish (Eyes,
mouth, gills, scales, fins). Ask students to tell you what they know or have learned about
fish (Where do they live? What do they eat? How big are they? There are countless
questions that can be used to direct the students).
Demonstrate the activity in its entirety in front of the students before completing the
- Pinch a small ball (about golf ball size) of Creative Paperclay® and roll it into a
- Hold the ball in the palm of one hand and using the thumb of the other press into the
- Squeeze with the fingers while turning the ball Repeat until a small pot is formed.
- Gently tap it on the wax paper to flatten the bottom Roll 3 little balls.
- Gently scratch ("score") the pot where you want the eyes to be placed.
- Dip finger into water and dampen the scored spot and the area of the eye that will be
placed against the pot.
- Press the eye then gently wiggle back and forth.
- Use the pointed stick to smooth the eye on the pot. Fingers can be used too.
- Place the second eye, mouth, and fins using the above technique.
- Use the stick to poke eyes, scratch the gills and name on the bottom.
- Take spangles and press them into the sides of the pot. Be sure they overlap. Allow pot
to dry for 2 to 3 days (If you are in a hurry, you may dry them in the oven at a low
- Using markers or paint, add lines and color to the mugs.
- Put a thin coat of a gloss medium like Mod Podge on mug. Allow it to dry, then add
another thin coat.
Conclusions: This lesson is appropriate
for grades 1-3. I don't call them pinch pots until after the lesson; otherwise too much
pinching takes place and the pot walls are too thin. The trick is to get the students to
gently squeeze then turn, squeeze them turn - if they do too much in the beginning, then
the pot will be too shallow or the sides will be too thin. They can use a little bit of
water to smooth out cracks. Place the unfinished projects in plastic grocery bags to keep
the clay workable. Place unused Creative Paperclay® in Ziploc Bags to keep it fresh. The
end product is a cute piece of work that the students are very proud of. The use of the
Paperclay® modeling material enables the project to be completed with very little special
or expensive equipment. A brief lesson into the origins of the material is beneficial for
the students too.