One of the truths of teaching ceramics is there is always small amounts of scrap clay laying around. While this can be recycled to be reused again, if you don't ahve a pug mill, it's a real pain to recycle clay. Instead, I have my students work on small figurative pieces for extra credit throughout the semester. The one rule is they are only allowed to use the 'scrap clay'
Students are allowed to make anything they want, as long as it is figurative. The make cartoon characters, video game characters, etc. Opening up what is allowed gives them more buy in and interest, while also teaching them fine sculpture skills.
These are also good assignments for the 'early finishers' with the more complex assignments given.
These are graded on a rolling basis as they are completed and are more of an 'effort' based grade and are put into the gradebook as 'extra credit'.
Visual Arts Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
[K-4] Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
[5-8] Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices
[9-12 Proficient] Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use
[9-12 Advanced] Students initiate, define, and solve challenging visual arts problems independently using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation
Visual Arts Standard 2: Using knowledge of structures and functions
[K-4] Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas
[5-8] Students select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas
[9-12 Proficient] Students demonstrate the ability to form and defend judgments about the characteristics and structures to accomplish commercial, personal, communal, or other purposes of art
[9-12 Advanced] Students demonstrate the ability to compare two or more perspectives about the use of organizational principles and functions in artwork and to defend personal evaluations of these perspectives
Visual Arts Standard 3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
[K-4] Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning
[5-8] Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks
[9-12 Proficient] Students reflect on how artworks differ visually, spatially, temporally, and functionally, and describe how these are related to history and culture
[9-12 Advanced] Students evaluate and defend the validity of sources for content and the manner in which subject matter, symbols, and images are used in the students' works and in significant works by others
Visual Arts Standard 5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
[K-4] Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art
[5-8] Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures
[9-12 Proficient] Students identify intentions of those creating artworks, explore the implications of various purposes, and justify their analyses of purposes in particular works
[9-12 Advanced] Students correlate responses to works of visual art with various techniques for communicating meanings, ideas, attitudes, views, and intentions
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