CLAY BASICS – Modeling Clay Building Blocks

Students learn how to make basic shapes with modeling clay and then combine all the shapes to make a sculpture.

Share this:
CLAY BASICS – Modeling Clay Building Blocks


  • Crayola Modelling Clay
  • Plastic Placemats
  • Various Texture Making Tools
  • Wax Paper


Step 1
  1. Gather a variety of tools for creating texture and joining the modeling clay.
  2. You may want to make a pin tool by taping an open paper clip to the end of a pencil, and a gouging tool by taping a paper clip to the end of a pencil.
  3. Other useful tools are a garlic press, comb, skewer and toothbrush.
Step 2


  1. Take a small piece of modeling clay.
  2. Squeeze it into a rough ball with your fingers.
Step 3
  1. Roll it around and around between the palms of your hands.
  2. Make sure to go in circular motions.
  3. Make it into a smooth, round ball.
Step 4


  1. Squeeze a small ball of clay into a sausage shape.
  2. Spread your fingers and apply light, even pressure as you roll the shape across the surface of the placemat.
  3. Make the shape long and thin.
  4. Make sure it does not get flat.
  5. See how long, thin, and smooth you can make your coils.
  6. Practice making long, thin coils and short, stubby ones.
Step 5


  1. Roll out a short, thick coil.
  2. Gently tap the ends onto the placemat to make them flat and smooth.
Step 6


  1. Start with a ball.
  2. Roll it up and down between the palms of your hands to make it into a long oval shape.
  3. Gently pinch the ends of the oval with your fingers.
  4. Form it into an egg shape.
Step 7


  1. Start with a small ball.
  2. Pinch it between your thumb and fingers to flatten it out.
  3. Smooth out the edges.
  4. Practice making different sizes and thicknesses of round disks.
Step 8


  1. Make an egg shape and continue to squeeze the top end until it becomes a point.
  2. Keep the rest of the shape smooth and round so the whole thing looks like a droplet of water.

Step 9


  1. Make a droplet.
  2. Gently tap the base on the desktop until it is smooth and flat.

Step 10


  1. Make a cylinder.
  2. Place a ruler or flat object on top of it and gently press down to flatten it.
  3. Turn it so the flat side is on the table top and repeat.
  4. Keep doing all sides until you have created a box.
  5. Practice making different sizes and shapes of boxes
Step 11


  1. Roll a long, thin coil.
  2. Place the coil on a piece of wax paper and then on top of the placemat.
  3. Gently roll a pencil or marker back and forth along the coil to flatten it into a ribbon.
  4. Lift the end of the wax paper and peel the ribbon away from it.
Step 12


  1. Combine all the shapes you have created to make a sculpture.
  2. Press the modeling clay pieces firmly to each other.
  3. Use a stick or your fingers to blend the joint to make it stronger.
  4. Once it is complete use a new, contrasting colour of clay to add extra details.
  • Subjects:

    • Grades:

      • Kindergarten,

      • Grade 1,

      • Grade 2,

      • Grade 3,

      • Grade 4,

      • Grade 5,

      • Grade 6,

      • Grade 7,

      • Grade 8

    Related Lesson Plans

    Illustrated Crayon Character