First grade students are experiencing their second exposure to clay in elementary school but the transition from Kindergarten has made them a bit more aware of the quality of their work. I never want to create that "too critical" creative environment with my students; especially at a young age when they aren't yet too inhibited to experiment. I begin the lesson by reading the book "Dave the Potter" by Laban Carrick Hill. This is a historical account of Dave who was a slave, Potter, and Poet. The book supplies a wonderful cultural and historical connection for students who have just begun to learn about slavery. I always emphasize the fact Dave was a potter despite the fact slaves were not allowed to attend school. The book and discussion takes up a great amount of time from the first class period and generally we only create a pinch pot before class is completed. The second week, students are encourage to "grow" their pot as Dave did in the book by adding coils of clay. We have successfully review two of the concepts they were introduced to in Kindergarten. Next, the new skill of score, slip and smooth is introduced as students implement the additive process to actually create the face for their ugly cup. I particularly enjoy the idea these are intended to be ugly because students aren't stifled trying to achieve beautiful at this age. Needless to say, they LOVE making their cups ugly. I do model all the add ons; insisting that students start with a ball shape and then manipulate the clay to form the finished appendage. Enjoy their completed work here!