Moore's Smooth Sculptures

Moore's Smooth Sculptures lesson plan

Learn about Henry Moore's way of seeing shapes as you create your own simple, flowing sculpture.

  • 1.

    Henry Moore, a sculptor, was born in Castleford, England, on July 30, 1898. After studying in London, he held a one-man show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1946, and soon became internationally known. His work, which is large and organic (the term refers to natural forms), is bold and simple. He described his method of simplifying form and referring to other natural objects this way: "In my opinion, everything, every shape, every bit of natural form, animals, people, pebbles, shells, anything you like are all things that can help you to make a sculpture" [<I>Five British Sculptors (Work and Talk</I>) by Warren Forma, 1964].

  • 2.

    Look closely at Henry Moore's sculptures to notice how simple and flowing his forms are. To create your own sculpture in Moore's manner, begin by observing your favorite animal, or a photograph of one. If you have access to a live animal, wait until the animal is standing or lying quietly. Make a simple sketch of the animal with Crayola® Colored Pencils. Break down the forms you see into simple shapes. If you are using a photograph, look at the largest part of the animal first, and simplify the shapes that you see.

  • 3.

    Study your drawings. Connect the shapes to each other with curved, flowing lines.

  • 4.

    Choose one color of Crayola Model Magic to make a simplified shape of the animal body. To add one shape to another, moisten the separate parts with your fingers, then carefully seam them together, smoothing over the area you joined.

  • 5.

    Add a few details with black and white Model Magic. Dry.


  • Students research the smooth, flowing work of contemporary sculptor Henry Moore.
  • Children examine and sketch animal forms and relate them to simple geometric and organic (natural) forms.
  • Children create an original sculpture in the organic style of Henry Moore.


  • Create a simplified human form by drawing a person, then making his or her body thicker and simpler than it looks in real life. Pose your human sculpture in different poses until you find one that is graceful and flowing. Smooth out any abrupt changes in
  • Create a group sculpture with several figures, then smooth them together.
  • Compare and contrast Henry Moore's sculptures with those of Michelangelo, Auguste Rodin, George Segal, and other sculptors. How is their work similar? Different?