The concept of a money box dates all the way back to 2nd century Greece. Slotted banks in various shapes, including one in the shape of a miniature Greek temple, have been found at the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The piggy bank shape came into play in the 14th century. The first piggy banks were made of “pygg”, an inexpensive clay with an orange hue used in the Middle Ages to make pygg pots, or money jars. An early sample of the pygg pot is on display at the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta. As time passed and materials evolved, the term piggy bank emerged, referring to the shape of the pygg pot as well as the original material.
Digital, mechanical, ceramic, or porcelain, each of the modern types of piggy banks shares a common purpose and a common heritage, and your art students can create their own versions with our piggy bank lesson plan. Using clay to create pinch pots, students will strive for even, thick walls, assembling two vase-like pot shapes to create a single pig-shaped body. Adding clay legs and a detailed head completes the pig shape and a slot in the back transforms this structure into a savings vessel.
Click to view the plan, including step-by-step instructions, a complete materials list, and a photo of a finished piece, then start your students down the path to savings with their own custom piggy banks.