This year I wanted to try something new for my 4th grade clay lesson. I was having a hard time making a decision with lots of possible ideas, so I asked the 4th grade teachers for important topics they cover. The one that caught my eye, was studying the life cycle of butterflies.
The students' assignment was to use slabs and/or coils and attachments to illustrate at least one phase of a butterfly's life cycle. We also talked about 3D vs. 2D and how they should really give their project some form or it might as well just be on paper. Most of the students made a slab that looks like a leaf and attached eggs or a caterpillar to it. The slabs were curved up to make a shallow dish. Some got more sculptural. The students had one class period to build and the next to paint. I did not give any requirements about paint colors since they didn't have to represent a real species.
This student made his caterpillar the same color as his leaf on purpose and called it a "Camo-pillar."
This student tried to show every stage. I think there was a chrysalis on the back side.
Did you know that caterpillars eat their eggs after they hatch? The students taught me that!