Ceramics I. is one of my favorite classes to teach. After learning the basic hand building techniques, I set my students loose to see what they could do.
The students were very excited when they found out they were building monsters. They quickly rattled off the names of monsters from movies and television that they were anxious to recreate, however, that was not an option. I wanted them to use their imaginations to create their own monsters. They had to develop a piece of writing to explain their monster and it's traits. Would their monster wear clothes and have a job? Would they be a wild animal running loose through town? They came up with everything from a field report to a news cast about this new creature. Every decision they made about the visual appearance of their monster had to be supported by where and how it lived. If they had sharp teeth, what did they eat? Do they need claws for defense? Webbing to swim? Students wrote their papers, made a sketch, and started building.
My favorite part about this project is how different all of their monsters turned out. They were all so excited to create something totally their own, and we got an amazing result.