Without having a student teacher this year, I actually was able to fit in a 5th grade clay project! It had been a couple of years since I had done clay with 5th grade simply because I ran out of days in the school year.
For this project, I went back to a lesson I wrote several years back about tiki mugs. They were easy to construct since 5th grade students had done slab construction in 4th grade. The big educational addition to this project was the idea of both additive and subtractive sculpture with a slab form.
Students all designed their own tiki faces and used a variety of clay tools to create the finished mug. Students who were most successful used loop tools to carve away details for their mugs. The loop tools just make wider and deeper lines than our other clay tools. They wind up being more visible after glaze has been applied.
Download my lesson plan!