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Level: Junior
Grades: 3-5 | Age: 8-11 | Written by: Doreen Diorio
[Doreen is an Art Teacher/Artist at P.S. 105, Brooklyn, New York.]

Students will learn about Ancient Greek Pottery designs as they make their own mini vases using styrofoam cups and paint.


Introducing students to the art of Greek vases while they develop their own storytelling skills.


greek, vase, pottery, red, black, ware,

What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Introduce Greek vases through images. Describe creating and storytelling techniques used on vases.

  2. Have students lightly draw their own story in 2 parts, first on paper and then on both sides of the cup with a pencil. Emphasize the use of clear outlined images and design with few details

  3. Using the pencils, have students "carve" into the lines they wish to keep without breaking the cup. Encourage them to take their time.

  4. Color inside the outlined areas with black pastel. Have the students press hard, then smudge with a black craypas. Color outside of the black forms (in the negative space) with brick red craypas. Smudge the pastel onto the cup using tissues. An "outline" will appear white around the forms from the cup color.

  5. After the vases are complete, each student should be encouraged to write a short story describing the image on their work of art.

More Information:

Greek Pottery -- on KinderArt

Recommended Books/Products:

Ancient Greek Designs
110 royalty-free illustrations adapted from ancient Greek vases, votive reliefs, clay figures, statuary and other authentic sources. Decorative images depict Grecian women, gods and goddesses, warriors, weapons, mythical figures, bacchantes, musical instruments and more. Ideal for adding ornamental grace and style to a wide range of graphic and craft projects.

Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome
Demonstrates life in ancient Greece and Rome, and the contributions of those cultures to modern civilization, through hands-on activities such as making a star gazer, chiseling a clay tablet, and weaving Roman sandals.

Off the Wall Museum Guides for Kids: Greek and Roman Art
by Georgia O'Keeffe, Nicolas Callaway, Nicholas Callaway
Make the "classical connection!" Filled with the magic of mythology; images of sports and romance; exploits of appealing superheroes (like Hercules), and epic adventures of the Trojan War, every piece of Greek and Roman art has a story to tell.

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