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Kids Clay Class, Photo: Lisa Sakulensky

School Groups

Our school programs, designed by professional educators, engage with the Ontario Curriculum in fun and creative ways using clay. All school workshops are led by experienced artist-educators who specialize in ceramics. Schools can choose between a tour, a hands-on activity, or a combination of both. See the list of program themes below.

Tour only: $6 per student
Clay activity only: $12 per student
Half-Day Program (Tour and Activity): $15 per student
Firing Fee: $3 per student

Important Information: 

We require a two-week minimum notice to book a school workshop. In the booking form, please provide as much detail as possible, including whether you wish to have your works fired.

Payment is due on the date of the visit. Schools paying by Purchase Order are recommended bring a copy of the PO on the day of the visit.

A $5 processing fee is charged for all bookings.

Program Themes:

Myths and Symbols

Discover the Gardiner’s collection of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain, which features a variety of real and mythological creatures. Students will learn about the symbolic meaning behind these creatures and consider the symbols we all encounter in our daily lives. Using this imagery as inspiration, students will then make their own creatures and discuss what these creatures symbolize to them.

Curriculum Links: Visual Arts, History, Social Studies

Animals and Habitats

Students will discover the many representations of animals in the Gardiner Collection, from Ancient Americas to contemporary ceramics. We’ll discuss how different animals have cohabitated with humans and how artists have represented them in pottery across time and geographies. For their hands-on activity, students will create their own pinch-pot animals.

Curriculum Links: Visual Arts, Geography

Contemporary Ceramics

This program begins by engaging students in a close-looking exercise of the Gardiner’s collection of contemporary ceramics, which features Canadian and international artists. Students will discuss how contemporary artists have used the ceramic medium in novel ways and critically analyze selected works. The class will then create their own works in clay inspired by the contemporary collection.

Curriculum Links: Visual Arts, Social Sciences and the Humanities, Canadian and World Studies

Ancient Americas

Students will begin by exploring the Gardiner’s world-renowned Ancient Americas collection, learning about the diversity of cultures by region. This is followed by a hands-on workshop in which students create objects influenced by their own social and cultural experiences and inspired by the visuals they encounter in the galleries.

Curriculum Links: Visual Arts, History, Geography, Social Studies

Program Themes