Alligators and Crocodiles

Clay can easily be shaped just by pinching it. In this lesson kids use their fingers to create textured scales on alligators and crocodiles. First they roll a cylinder and shape the head. Then they add some legs to the bottom. We usually add legs early in the process of most of the clay animals we make. That way the animals can be flipped over and the kids can concentrate on the top details. Two parallel rows of finger pinches are created down the back.

I usually teach this lesson as part of a unit on Egypt and the symbolism of the various deities. I have also taught this lesson connecting it to ideas about animals from various geographic regions of the United States. I teach this lesson to third grade students, but it would work well kids in higher grade levels as well. Older kids add more details and are more able to render the forms of the animal more accurately.