Lesson Plan

Clay Stamps

A clay stamping die on top of stamped clay

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Grade Level:
Kindergarten-Third Grade
Mathematics, Social Studies
45 - 60 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 24
National/State Standards:
Historical, Cultural and Social Contexts, Creative Expression and Communication


Stamping process to create repeating patterns.


Students will be able to create a repeating pattern using a stamping process.

Visual Art Standard: Historical, Cultural and Social Contexts
Benchmark: Recognize and describe visual art forms and artworks from various times and places.

Visual Art Standard: Creative Expression and Communication
Benchmark: Demonstrate knowledge of visual art materials, tools, techniques and processes by using them expressively and skillfully. 


Students will look at the printing press in the Wright brothers' workshop and discuss how it was used. The instructor will explain the working process, and describe the types of work that the Wright brothers created in the workshop.

The instructor can also describe how the printing process has been used in other cultural settings. For example, in Ghana, stamping is used to create the traditional Adinkra cloth, and a similar idea is used in Nigeria for the Adire cloth. Students can be asked where else they might have seen printed patterns or designs (wrapping paper, tablecloths, textiles, quilts, and similar materials have similar design qualities).

Students will be asked to develop a design or set of designs to create a patterned paper. The instructor will need to demonstrate the process before allowing students to begin.


Materials for this lesson include clay, pencils, clay-working tools, plastic texture blocks, construction paper, water-based printmaking inks, brayers, trays for printing ink, newspaper.



The success of this project can be ascertained through the quality of the artwork. The instructor can also ask a series of questions regarding the objectives of the lesson to determine how well students have comprehended the material.

Alternatively, the rubric below can be used to rate each child's performance during the working period. 

Art Rubric 
 Category Possible Points  Points Earned 
 Craftsmanship 20   
Time on Task  20   
Following Assignment Guidelines  20   
Use of Materials  20   
Clean Up  20   

Park Connections

Social Studies – The group can explore how stamping is used in the Japanese art form known as Gyotaku.

Math – Students can try to identify patterns in numbers and number sequences. 


It might help to have clay plugs rolled out before beginning. The plugs can be stored in a plastic bag to keep them from drying out. Children who have difficulty controlling fine motor skills can still be successful with this project if they are given a variety of textured materials to press clay against. Students with special needs may require extra supervision as they work with the stamping process.

Additional Resources


Art From Many Hands, by Jo Miles Schuman

Clay Fun: How to Work with Clay, by Carolyn Davis and Charlene Brown

Polymer Clay: 30 Terrific Projects to Roll, Mold, and Squish, by Irene Semanchuk Dean

Super Simple Clay Projects: Fun and Easy-to-Make Crafts for Kids, by Karen Latchana Kenney


Motif – an element used to create a visual pattern.

Pattern - a design in which lines, shapes, and/or colors are repeated in a visual sequence.

Last updated: February 19, 2016