Here are a few clay projects that my middle school ceramics class created. My ceramics class consists of 7th and 8th grade students. The first project was a coffee mug/cup project. Each student created a cup or mug using an interesting design concept. They were allowed to use a character, symbol or any design that would grab an audiences attention. I think that they did a great job..especially for students who had never used clay before.
Below are two more great projects..the first is inspired by food or soft sculpture food. The second is a tray inspired by animals. All of these projects used the hand building slab technique. We used Amaco glazes.
Clay can be challenging to teach, but I found a great video that teaches you slab handbuidling projects. This video is a little dry but like all projects you have to "sell it". The video is called "Ceramics Handbuilding Slab Construction" it's $29.95 but I got it on sale, you can order it in the Art and Video World catalog.
I play this video at the beginning of every quarter (We have four quarters and my ceramics class changes every quarter, so I get a new batch of kids each quarter). and I give each student a worksheet that goes along with the video. This video demonstrates slab techniques, shows examples of clay tools, non clay tools, materials you can use and talks about the clay process. It's a great teaching aid. My classes seem to really enjoy it, haven't had any complaints yet!