I found this ceramic clay turkey project in my Arts & Activities magazine, and have used it successfully with second grade on up for many years. I prefer clay projects like this that require pinching and pulling shapes, as opposed to adding pieces of clay together. The fewer dropped heads, etc., the better.
• Clay, low fire
• Water in containers
• Scratching tool
• Glaze: Brown, red, yellow
1. Give each student a lump of modeling clay about the size of a small apple. Point out that softening the clay is an important first step and this is done by wetting the clay and squeezing it until it becomes warm. They then roll it into a smooth ball.
2. To form the pinch pot, the students press their thumb into the middle of the ball and pinch the sides until a bowl is formed with sides about the thickness of a pancake.
3. The students then pinch together one side of the bowl to form the turkey head. On the opposite side, the clay is pinched flat and curved to form the tail. When the shape is complete, feathers are etched into the sides.
4. Fire the clay, paint with glaze, and fire again. A very cute addition to your Thanksgiving table!