Maria Martinez Art Lesson

Art Projects and Curriculum

Our comprehensive art lesson plans will immerse Students in Maria Martinez's rich cultural background. Through interesting courses, you can learn about Martinez's pottery mastery and her inventive ceramic processes. Students will learn about Martinez's artistic process, from clay preparation to fire, and be inspired to create their own pottery masterpieces. Explore Maria Martinez's talent and discover the beauty of Southwest Ceramics.

Student Artwork Showcase






Native American



Maria Martinez (1881-1980)

Maria Martinez was a Native American potter from the Pueblo of San Ildefonso in New Mexico. She is widely considered to be one of the greatest traditional Native American potters of the 20th century. Maria learned the art of pottery making from her mother, who was also a skilled potter. She was known for her unique style of black-on-black pottery, which involved coating the pottery with a glossy, black slip and then burnishing it to a smooth finish. She worked with her husband, Julian Martinez, to perfect this technique and their work was widely celebrated.

Maria became a respected leader in the Native American art community and her work has been widely exhibited and collected by museums and institutions around the world. Today, she is remembered as an important figure in the preservation of traditional Native American art forms.

Maria Martinez Art Lesson, Activity & Projects for Elementary

The history and culture of the Southwest Pueblo Native Americans is integrated with the introduction of master potter, Maria Martinez. The steps in making pottery are explored in preparation for the students to shape and decorate their own pottery. Be sure to click through the student masterpieces at the top of this page.

Art Elements Taught

Three Dimensional Shape

Art Activity Emphasis

Pueblo Pottery with Native American Symbols

Vocabulary Learned

balance, composition, contrast, detail, realistic, studio, symmetry, texture, value

Student Art Supplies

Clay, Watercolor Brushes
Art Lessons for Maria Martinez

How the Art Program Works:

1. Assembly

Introducing the Masters—Multi-Purpose Room or Classroom (20-45 minutes)

2. Student Worksheets

Learning from the Masters—Classroom (15-30 minutes)

3. Student Art Projects

Working with the Masters—Classroom (50-60 minutes)

Real Reviews from Real Teachers & Parents

See Why Everyone Loves Meet The Masters

Working as a volunteer with the Meet the Masters program at my son’s school this past year has been such a great experience. I believe art programs help children build confidence and instill a sense of wonder and curiosity that helps foster creativity. Meet the Masters is so wonderful because it gives young children a taste of art fundamentals while teaching them about the many styles and techniques of artists from around the world and from different time periods. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing each child in my son’s first grade class create their own unique masterpiece!

Online Elementary Art Curriculum
Kim Aish
Harbour View Elementary School, Huntington Beach, CA

More Artists on the Same Track

Save more with a track purchase & teach all year long.

All tracks include:

  • Implementation guide to manage scheduling, volunteers & communication
  • Multi-level, age-appropriate curriculum for all seven artists in this track
  • Engaging PowerPoint visuals that include vocabulary, art concepts & music
  • Timed, illustrated & scripted lessons perfect for teachers or volunteers
  • Hands-on technique worksheets, art project details, art prints, games & props

*Art supplies and teacher/volunteer training DVDs can be added to your order.