My middle school classes are one semester long, 8th grade first semester and 7th second semester. I tried to get most of my lesson starters from the Core Arts Standards. One of the standards is about preparing and presenting theme based work, and we met half of that standard through this lesson.
I can collaboratively prepare and present selected theme-based artwork for display, and formulate exhibition narratives for the viewer.
I helped each student work on the skills they needed to communicate their idea.
One student even did nature on another planet.
And now I have to tell you about the piece that was also pictured at the top of this post. The student had an idea of making a flower and she wanted to include wheel throwing. I hadn't planned to let 8th graders loose on the wheel, but I decided to do a demo and let them all have a shot at it if they wanted to. This student was seriously a natural on the wheel. After she threw the base, she started sculpting all these petals and assembled them into a flower.... which blew up in the kiln. It either had trapped air or wasn't as dry as I thought it was. Thankfully, she rolled with it and was able to save most of it. I told her I thought it could be glazed back together and I love how it turned out!