Name of Project: Exploring Space: There’s No Place Like Home

Grade Level or Age of Participant: Kindergarten

School, Teacher and Classroom: Unity Elementary, Miss Cara’s  Kindergarten class

MCAD Teaching Artist:  Danielle Sloper

Visual Arts Content or Standards

C.4.7 Develop basic skills to produce quality art

E.4.4 Communicate basic ideas by producing visual communication forms useful in everyday life, such as sketches, diagrams, graphs, plans, and models

H.4.5 Be able to read simple maps, charts, and plans

I.4.3 Talk or write about feelings in a work of art

K.4.3 Use what they are learning about life, nature, the physical world, and people to create art

Curricular Link / Standards

E.4.3 Develop descriptions* of the land and water masses of the earth and of Wisconsin’s rocks and minerals, using the common vocabulary of earth and space science

Overview of Project

Students make 3-D maps of invented planets. Children use a slab of clay to  mold their planet landforms. After they finish they name their planets and write a  sentence describing their planets. On the second day students paint their planets.

“Big Ideas”/ Essential QUESTION(s)

It is important for Kindergartens to work with new materials and learn how to apply different techniques to anything they learn. This kind of work engages them in  creative thinking, and the grey and personal answers of art.

Student Outcome Objectives

Students will:

  1. 1. Learn/explore different landforms

  2. 2. Build/Form their own planet using their imagination and clay

  3. 3. Use texture and color to differentiate form and intention.

Prior Knowledge

This project is happening at the beginning of their space unit. Students will need to have been introduced to planets and space.

Examples of Artwork

Make  an example to get a better understanding of what textures can be created and how to include multiple landforms so students can see how it can be done. When dry paint so students can envision them finished.

Additional Resources

Children's large print books on space and planets


Participation is key! And time invested. This will be evidenced in the classroom and a final project that engages both landforms, understanding of curricular content provided by the classroom teacher and a personal narrative.


AIR DRY WHITE clay, 15lb 

circle stencils (13) 4 inches for each student

Plastic butter knives, forks and spoons

An Examplar

Wax Paper to put under the clay

-Wire to use to hang the planets

-Tempera Washable Paint or Watercolor Paint (variety of colors)

-Paint Brushes

-Paper towels

-Book: I am going to read Dr. Seuss There’s No Place Like Space!

-Sponges and bucket to clean tables.

Learning Activities and Timing

1. (10mins) Read Dr. Seuss There’s No Place Like Space.

2. (5mins) Show the example and ask them to point out my different landforms. Include in example: Volcano, Mountains, Lake, River, Forest and Farmland.

3. Handout wax paper for students to lay on their table and clay. Pre slice the slabs of clay and handout with the circle template to use as a stencil to cut out their planet. 

4.DEMO! Show students how to use the stencil to cut out their planet and how to use the leftover clay to build landforms. Make sure to tell them how to adhere the clay so it sticks and to not have their clay too thin. ALSO show them how to use a pencil to make two holes on the top of their planets where will be used later to hang. 

4. Handout tools and let them work.

5. At the end (10ish mins) handout lined paper that says: My planet is called ______. Where they can name their planet and write a couple sentences about their planets.