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Sultan's Lost Treasure

Ideas from Teachers


(Gr. 9-12)
Objective
To see pottery examples recovered and documented by archeologists.

To describe how pottery artifacts reveal historic clues.

Materials

  • expository article of the history of blue-and-white ware
  • NOVA's "The Sultan's Lost Treasure" program
  • visual resources of Persian tin glazed-cobalt decorated-earthenware, early majolica ware, and delft tiles.
  • student-made terra cotta tiles, majolica glaze, cobalt (majolica overglaze) wash

Procedure
NOVA's "Sultan's Lost Treasure" program is part a unit that explores the ceramic tradition of blue-and-white ware and how the prized porcelain was imitated by potters around the world with various materials.

Have students complete an analytic reading activity while learning about the allure, history, and migration of blue-and-white ware.

Ask students to watch the NOVA program and complete teacher-provided quiz worksheet to promote active viewing.

Review conclusions of archeologists.

Provide a PowerPoint presentation of Persian blue-and-white glazed earthenware, European majolica ware, and delft tiles. Have students look for clues that it is not porcelain and not of Chinese origin.

Have students design composition for their own tile. Provide a demonstration of glaze application. Have students glaze and decorate their tiles. Load the tiles into the kiln and fire them.

Have students assess their finished glaze results. Hold a group discussion to draw conclusions between application and fired results. Ask student to provide a written reflection on the mastery of materials seen in historic examples and compare those examples to their art studio experience.

Assessment
Assess students' glaze application procedures. Conduct a student notebook check of activity worksheets that accompany the reading, video, and PowerPoint presentation. Look at students' self-evaluations of glaze application procedures and fired results.

Classroom Tips
I create a worksheet or quiz to accompany each video to promote active viewing of video presentations. This presentation is great because it presents ceramics not only as art objects but artifacts of human history. It shows the arts in relation to other disciplines, in a real-world situation.

Sent in by
Heather Alexander
Spruce Creek High
Port Orange, FL


Teacher's Guide
Sultan's Lost Treasure
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