Nature + Animals

Grade(s): Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, 1, 2, and 3

Location: Visual Art Studios at St. Albert Place (Art Gallery of St. Albert)

Program Delivery: In Person, In School, and Virtual

Under the Sea:  Using a variety of hand-building techniques, students create a clay plaque depicting life under the ocean’s waves.  Seas and oceans have such an abundance of amazing plants and animals to discover. What kinds of creatures can you think of?  Dolphins and turtles and fish, oh my!

Student Outcomes
  • Be introduced to clay and the many different hand building techniques that will enable them to create a unique and impressive underwater scene based on past and newly acquired knowledge of animals and plants that live in our seas and oceans



Birds Nest: In this clay class, students examine a real bird’s nest and discuss what type of bird made it, what materials were used and where it was found before crafting their own nest on a branch with eggs and a cute little bird.

Student Outcomes
  • Learn what clay is and where it comes from; why it is bisque fired in a kiln; how to use clay and clay tools safely in a professional studio
  • Explore land-based learning concepts and discuss environmental impacts on birds and their habitats



Frogs and Toads: In this clay class, students examine photos of frogs and toads and then discuss their differences and similarities. Students are then shown step by step, how to make a lily pad or smooth rock for their chosen amphibian to sit upon.

Student Outcomes
  • Students explore land based learning concepts and discuss environmental impacts on frog and toad habitats
  • They also learn the different characteristics that exist between frogs and toads



Brilliant Butterfly: Not only are they beautiful to look at, butterflies play an important role in the pollination of flowering plants and are great indicators of climate change and habitat destruction. Students examine photographs of a variety of Alberta butterfly species before being led step by step through the process of how to build a symmetrical clay butterfly using hand shaped slabs and coils. 

    Student Outcomes
    • Experiment with drawing, impressing, rolling, and coiling clay in order to create a realistic rendering of a symmetrical butterfly
    • Explore land based learning concepts and discuss environmental impacts on butterfly habitats
    • Discuss common butterfly species in Alberta, such as, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Tiger Swallowtail, Monarch, and why colour, symmetry and pattern are so important for their survival



    Ladybug: Students will examine images of ladybugs and learn the stages of metamorphosis from egg to larva then pupa and adult. Step by step, students are shown how to turn a clay slab into a leaf before rolling clay balls that make up a head, thorax, abdomen and protective ladybug shell.

      Student Outcomes
      • Explore land-based learning concepts and discuss environmental impacts on ladybug habitats
      • Discuss metamorphosis of common ladybug species in Canada and why colour, symmetry and pattern are important for their survival 

      *Note: All in school and virtual clay programs use air dry clay which is much less durable than clay that is bisque fired at our visual art studios. We cannot transport clay from in-school programs to the visual art studios for firing, but if your school has a kiln and a technician, we can supply suitable clay for firing at your school. 

      Click here for information on in school techniques for finishing air dry clay.



      Art: refining forms, creative process, expression and celebration, fine and gross motor skill development

      Science: Shapes, Experimentation, animals, seasons, life cycles, flying animals


      Suggested Pairings

      Exploring Art – Art Gallery of St. Albert

      Spring Along the River – Musée Héritage Museum