Here is a great Elements based lesson that I use with kindergarten but you could easily do it with pre-K or first. I have done texture plaques for year. It has been in the curriculum in some form or fashion for as long as I have been teaching and I have taught it a number of ways, but this year I found a way to get three times as much out of this unit, a win, win, win situation!
This book is a fun way to get young ones thinking about and looking at texture. It shows extreme close up of everyday items and asks you to guess what they are (the answers are in the back).
Then students pressed a variety or found objects and stamps into a slab of clay. I happen to know that my kindergarten teachers stash these lovelies away and use them as Mother's Day gifts from the children, so this year, I added a twist. I made the clay slabs the way I usually do, by rolling the whole 25lb bag to make a large round-ish cylinder and then slicing them like refrigerated cookie dough using the wire (about 5-6 inches across). I had the students start texturing in the middle, introducing radial balance. When they were finished, I cut a hole out of the middle using a uniformed cookie cutter shape.
We used the cut out shape to create a pendant the students could ware and take home after glazing.
And the K teachers put each child's picture in the whole to create an adorable clay frame that every mother would love to have. I just which I had thought about it last year when my own son was in kindergarten!!