7th grade students based their creatures around the transformation of a hollow clay balloon (that some decided to turn into a rattle by adding additional clay pellets before enclosing it). 8th grade students reused old water bottles as armatures to create anthropomorphic pottery pieces that represent their personalities.
While doing the demonstration for the 7th grade project process, I always ask students to tell me what to make and they vote on the final creature/sketched pose from my thumbnails. In the past I have made monkeys, chickens, fish, unicorns, and more. This year they wanted me to make a shark - you can check out the progress below (not too bad for a first try):