Coil Pot Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Through this lesson plan, students will learn how to make clay coil pots. They also will understand the role of coil pots and development in Mexican culture through a read-aloud and video.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will:

  • Relate coil pots to native cultures.
  • Learn to build a simple coil pot.


1 hour

Curriculum Standards

Please note that each state has different standards for art. Please consult your state's standards to ensure proper alignment.

Materials Needed

  • Clay
  • Rolling pins
  • Plastic knives
  • Kiln (if desired)
  • Glazes (if desired)
  • Book: The Pot that Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel
  • Photos of student-made coil pots
  • Computer with projector (to share videos and photos)

Coil pots made by elementary students.


  • Read students the book The Pot that Juan Built, which tells the story of Mexican potter Juan Quezada. He makes pots using traditional methods, starting with a coil pot.
  • Ask students questions, such as:
    • Why did Juan begin to make pots?
    • Why did he choose to make them in the way he did?
    • How do all his pots start out?
    • How have his pots helped his people?
  • Show students a short video about making coil pots. Many are available free from online video sites.
  • Display photos of finished coil pots made by students, such as the ones shown with this lesson.
  • Explain to the students that they will each be making their own coil pots.


Directions for coil pots:

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