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State of Rhode Island - Pottery and History Curriculum Lesson for Homeschooling or Summer Enrichment

Updated on March 2, 2014
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How to Use this Lesson

Learn a little bit about the little state of Rhode Island. You can use this lesson as-is for a great project, or you can expand it to cover more material. Check out a library book about the lighthouses of Rhode Island. Make up a batch of clam cakes. Find Rhode Island on a map. These are all ways you make this lesson into more.

No matter how you use this, you and your child can make a fun sculpted lighthouse together.

Rhode Island State Flag

Rhode Island State Facts

State Abbreviation: RI

Capital: Providence

Nickname: The Ocean State

Motto: “Hope”

Song: “Rhode Island, It’s for Me”

Bird: Rhode Island Red

Tree: Red Maple

State Shell: Quahog

Flower: Violets

Lindos Beach, RI

Famous People Born in Rhode Island

Robert Gray, sea captain

David Hartman, TV newscaster

Ida Lewis, lighthouse keeper

Oliver Hazard Perry, naval officer

Stephen Wilcox, inventor

Jemima Wilkinson, religious leader

Leonard Woodcock, labor union official

Things You Might Not Know about Rhode Island

Rhode Island is the smallest state in size in the United States. It's total area is 1,214 square miles. It is 48 miles from north to south and 37 miles from east to west.

Rhode Island was the last of the 13 colonies to become a state.

America's oldest carousel is the Flying Horse Carousel, and it is in the town of Watch Hill.

The Tennis Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island.

Silverware and fine jewelry are two things Rhode Island is known for making.

John and Jackie Kennedy got married in Newport, Rhode Island at St. Mary's Parish.

In the Battle of Rhode Island, the first African-American regiment to fight for America fought against British troops.

Ida Lewis, a lighthouse keeper and heroine, was born in Rhode Island. She has been called, "The Bravest Woman in America."

Of the 21 lighthouses in Rhode Island, 13 are still active.


For Rhode Island, let's make a lighthouse!

Break a piece of clay in 2 pieces, 2/3 and 1/3. (Not even halves)

With the bigger piece, form the main part of the lighthouse.

It should be shaped sort of like this. (But lighthouses are different sizes and shapes, so adapt as desired...)

Use the other piece of clay to make these next pieces. Make a thick coil and flatten it to put around the base of the lighthouse.

If desired, make skinny coils to put around the lighthouse as stripes.

Don't forget to scratch and wet the pieces to attach them.

Add as many stripes as you want.

Use wet fingers to shape the top of the lighthouse.

You may want to flatten the stripes to make them blend in a little better.

For the island, form a ball with a second piece of clay.

Stick your thumb in the ball.

Pinch the ball to open it up.

Make the pot an oblong shape and turn it over to make an island. Scratch and wet the lighthouse and attach it to the island.

Make a simple lightkeeper's house by making a cube. You can do this by pressing the clay on the table, turning it, pressing it, turning, etc. Just keep turning.

With wet fingers, pinch a roof shape.

Attach the house by the lighthouse.

Use a skewer to draw waves on the sides of the island. You can get as detailed as you want or just keep it simple.

Now, you have a cool lighthouse!

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