Unit plan: Japanese tea ceremony and tea bowls
School: Asheville High
Coop teacher: Sheila Showers
Ceramics I- Student ability level is overall intermediate
Class size: 18 students
Date: April 30, May 1 and 2
5.01 Know that the visual arts have a history, purpose and function in all cultures.
5.02 Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times and places.
5.06 Recognize and discuss that cultures have different aesthetics and each individual is a
product of his or her culture.
1.02 Devise and use strategies for imagining and implementing images.
1.04 Recognize and discuss that concepts and images from a variety of sources can be
used to create original art.
3.01 Recognize, apply and evaluate the elements of art in an aesthetic composition.
4.03 Invent original and personal imagery to convey meaning and not rely on copying,
tracing, patterns or duplicated materials.
2.05 Demonstrate the safe and responsible use of tools and materials.
I have used technology in planning this unit by researching content, finding forms on the
internet, and utilizing the NCDPI website for SCOS. I also have utilized Ms Word in the creation
of the lesson plans and transparencies. I plan to offer students extra credit by letting them search
through Google for information and form inspiration for their work.
I plan to teach a unit on the Japanese tea ceremony including production of tea bowls.
This will take place over three days, as my cooperating teacher suggested that I break away from
the course plan she has set out in order to introduce more multicultural aspects into the course.
(She needs to move on to planned units of study after the three days are over.) I will introduce
the students to the ceremony by utilizing KWL strategy, discussion and video on the first day.
This day will also include a brief history of the tea ceremony, the Japanese aesthetic of wabi, and
demonstrations of technique. The second day will be spent reviewing what was learned on the
previous day and production of forms. The third day will be spent finishing production, writing
rationale for decoration of pot and assessment.
I believe this to be an important topic to cover for several reasons:
1. Many students do not know of the role that Japanese pottery plays in the world of ceramics.
2. Many students’ work tends to be very tight in nature and it is my assertion that they need to be
exposed to differing aesthetics.
3. I believe that the students will benefit from the ritualistic aspect of the tea ceremony due to
ongoing creation of identity. (Marcia’s theory of identity achievement)
4. I also believe that this may foster some students’ self-esteem due to the absence of
“perfection” in form requirements (Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, Industry vs.
SCOS objectives are appropriate for Art I are addressed within each lesson. 5.01, 5.02
and 5.06 are covered in the first lesson. 1.02 and 1.04 are addressed in the second lesson; 3.01,
4.03 and 2.05 are addressed in the remaining lessons simultaneously.
I have chosen to use Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory as a basis for my teaching. I
will use many visual techniques (overheads, video and reproductions of Japanese art along with
thrown and hand built examples,) linguistic techniques through dialogue/discussion and writing,
and interpersonal techniques by assigning the students’ decoration on their pots to have personal
meaning. I will also use graphic organizers (Hilda Taba) to aid in the students’ learning of
Bloom’s taxonomy is addressed throughout lessons and includes comprehension,
analysis, synthesis and evaluation levels of questioning. Application is covered through
demonstrated knowledge of wabi through pots.
Lesson 1: –What do you know about Japanese culture, or think you know? (analysis)
-What do you know about Japanese art? (analysis)
- What are your initial reactions to the potters and their work and why? (evaluation)
- What sort of interesting things did you learn/see? (comprehension)
- Did you notice anything about the way the potters were seated? (analysis)
- What sort of processes did the potters go through while creating their pots? (synthesis)
- What types of forms did you notice most often (style)? Why? (analysis/synthesis)
- How did these forms relate to the surface treatment? (synthesis)
- Were most of the pots glazed? How were they glazed? (comprehension)
- What was the overall unifying theme in form and surface decoration? (synthesis)
What is wabi? (comprehension)
Did the forms that you found show wabi? How? (analysis/evaluation)
Does your pot show wabi? (analysis)
Is your decoration related to nature with personal meaning? (analysis)
Remind students of criteria for assignment and demonstrate critique process by
critiquing students’ work yourself and within the class. (analysis and evaluation)
My personal objectives for this lesson are to:
1. Increase my knowledge of pacing
2. Refine demonstration skills
3. Help students obtain successful product
4. Successfully communicate wabi aesthetic, importance of tea ceremony and tea bowls
Wednesday, April 30 Thursday, May 1 Friday, May 2
Introduce topic Review history and Review aesthetic
through aesthetic Finish projects
discussion and Answer questions Give individual
video Give personal assessment and
Give history of assistance as needed feedback
tea ceremony Continue projects
Give criteria for
Classroom rules are as follows:
1. Clean up and return tools. Clean spills as they occur.
2. No talking during demonstrations or lecture.
3. All must participate-No excessive talking.
4. Do not handle work that is not yours.
5. Treat equipment and tools with respect.
6. Do not waste supplies or paper towels.
The consequences for breaking the rules are as follows:
2. Sponge time (cleaning up the studio)
3. Phone call to parents
4. Referral to Assistant Principal
I have been informed that swearing is automatic sponge time (usually cleaning 10
bats or laying out clay, depending on the severity of the word used.) Also, if the word
is used in anger it is an automatic referral to the Assistant Principal.
There is not a diagnosed special need in the class that I will be teaching, so I
chose to create specialized plans for a BED student. However, some of these
strategies may be useful for a student who is constantly off-task and disruptive to the
class but not diagnosed.
-Give student copy of lesson plan a day ahead of time so he knows what to expect
-Sit near student during video
-Allow student to squeeze clay or sponge during video
-Partner student with responsible student to aid in on-task behavior
-Praise student privately for successes
-Hold student accountable to pre-arranged behavior contract
I plan to hold the students accountable through the viewing of the video through the
use of a viewing guide they will turn in. This will not be graded, but they will not be
aware of this. If the students ask if it will be graded, I will inform them that their
attendance and completion of the guide will determine this. I also plan to hold them
accountable through grading of the finished product. The students will be aware of
the criteria and will (hopefully) have no reason for an incomplete assignment, or
reason to dispute grades.
Simpson, P. Kitto, L. and Sodeoka, K. (1979). The Japanese Pottery Handbook. New
York: Kondansha America, Inc.
Hara, A. Kimura,M. and Kimura, S. (accessed on March 6, 2003). (On-line)
Hooten, D. (Accessed on March 6, 2003). Tea Ceremony Utensils, A review and its
effects on my ceramics. (On-line) available: http://www.dmh.net/raku98/RAKU.html
Turay, M. (Accessed on March 6, 2003). Chanoyu: Rituals and Symbolism: Japan
tea ceremony. (On-line) available:
All websites are suitable for student use, especially helpful is the last listed, as it
shows raku process with description and pictures. The second two websites are
referenced within the site and I feel are very appropriate and legitimate. The first
website does not give references, but is co-authored by Japanese people. I feel that
this alone gives it legitimacy.
Student assessment will be as follows:
Students will choose one out of two to four of each hand built and thrown pieces to turn
in for a grade. Criteria will be uniform thickness, marks of potter’s hands, general
craftsmanship including comfort of holding pot, and surface decoration. (expression of
wabi aesthetic) Surface decoration must have written statement of personal meaning.