MINI TABLE AND CHAIRS – Form, Texture, Proportion

Students use modeling clay pressed onto armatures made of aluminum foil or cardboard to create a miniature table and chairs suitable for use in dioramas and stop-motion animations.

Required Time

100 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 9


Language Arts
Visual Arts
Media Literacy


anthropomorphize armature form proportion texture


Crayola Modeling Clay - Jumbo Pack Crayola Scissors Aluminum Foil Thin Corrugated Cardboard - Small Pieces Bamboo Skewers - 1 per student Toothpicks Rolling Pins Rulers

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MINI TABLE AND CHAIRS – Form, Texture, Proportion - Step One

Step One

  1. Fold a piece of paper 6 cm x 12 cm into quarters.
  2. Round off the outside open corners.
  3. Open the paper.
  4. Trace the shape onto a piece of cardboard.
  5. Cut out the cardboard shape.
MINI TABLE AND CHAIRS – Form, Texture, Proportion - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Use a strip of aluminum foil 4 cm x 10 cm.
  2. Start at a short end.
  3. Scrunch the first half of the foil.
  4. Roll the scrunched part of the foil for the rest of the strip.
  5. Make a smooth, firm cylinder.
  6. Repeat this process to make 4 cylinders in total.
  7. These will be the armatures for the table legs.
MINI TABLE AND CHAIRS – Form, Texture, Proportion - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Make 4 firm, aluminum foil cylinders all the same size.
  2. Flatten a small piece of clay so it is smooth and thin.
  3. Wrap the clay around a cylinder.
  4. Repeat for each cylinder to make 4 legs.
MINI TABLE AND CHAIRS – Form, Texture, Proportion - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Roll a piece of clay smooth and flat.
  2. Make it fairly thin.
  3. Place the cardboard shape on the clay.
  4. Use it to measure a piece that is as long as the cardboard and 2 times its width.
  5. Cut out the shape.
  6. Fold the clay around the cardboard shape like a sandwich.
  7. Press the edges together and smooth the surfaces.
MINI TABLE AND CHAIRS – Form, Texture, Proportion - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Attach one cylinder to each corner of the rectangle.
  2. You may want to wrap a thin coil of clay around the base of each cylinder to make sure the pieces stick.
  3. Flip the table over and make sure it is sturdy and balanced.
MINI TABLE AND CHAIRS – Form, Texture, Proportion - Step Six

Step Six


  1. Roll a thin coil of modeling clay about 8 cm long.
  2. Bend it into a curved arch.
  3. Attach a thin coil about 4 cm long to the centre of the arch.


  1. Roll a small ball of clay.
  2. Flatten it between your thumb and finger.
  3. Squeeze it into a square to make a small cuboid about .5 cm x 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm.


  1. Attach the back to one end of the cuboid.
  2. Make 3 cm long legs the same way you did for the table.
  3. Attach the legs to the chair seat.
  4. Flip the chair over and make sure it is sturdy and balanced.
MINI TABLE AND CHAIRS – Form, Texture, Proportion - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Roll out a thin piece of modeling clay. 
  2. Cut a strip to make a cloth for the table.
  3. Add a fringe or other texture to it.
  4. Pinch a small ball of clay into a bowl.
  5. Fill the bowl with small balls of clay decorated to look like fruit.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • use modeling clay to create a small table and chairs;
  • create chairs that are in proportion to the table;
  • add details that connect the table and chairs to a story they have written;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • express and support their opinions about the artworks.


Have students:

  • work in teams to create a stop-motion video of their story;
  • share their videos with another class.


  1. Download and display the Colour, Texture and Form posters available on this website.
  2. Download or bookmark several images of tables and chairs from the Internet, for example,
    Table 1
    Table 2
    Table 3
  3. Review the characteristics of an effective story.
    - hook at beginning
    - main character who must achieve a goal
    - problem to be solved
    - satisfying solution
  4. Provide time for students to write a short story about a topic that interests them that includes a table and chairs as an important part of the story. Have them consider anthropomorphizing the table and chairs as part of their story.


  1. View several images of tables and compare them – how they are the same and how they are different. 
  2. List the characteristics of the tables on a chart paper.
  3. Ask students to imagine the table and chairs in their own story – what should they look like and why.
    - What words best describe your table and chairs?
    - What is the most important feature of your table? Why?
    - How can you make your table appear to be special?
    - How do the chairs relate to the table?
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Use modeling clay to create a small table and chairs.
  2. Create chairs that are in proportion to the table.
  3. Add details that connect the table and chairs to a story you have written.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Express and support your opinions about the artworks.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used modeling clay to create a sturdy and carefully constructed table and chair 
    - made the chair in proportion to the table
    - added details that connect the table and chair to my story
    - kept the finished table and chair in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - Compare their work and describe to each other what they did to get certain effects.
    - Give a brief synopsis of their story.

    - Discuss how the characteristics of each table and chair fit the story they are part of, and what they see that makes them think that.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask them to tell how they felt about doing this activity and why.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their table and chair sets – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, holds furniture to the side, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - TableChair_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students write a reflection that includes things such as:
    - How they made their table and chairs.
    - How they decided on the colour and details for the table and chairs.
    - What they like best about their table and chairs.
    - How the design of the table and chairs fits into their story.
  6. Have students draw a picture of their character heads.