This project takes 3-4 class periods and is very engaging for all students. Even my students who "don't like art" got really involved in this clay project.
Each student begins with a styrofoam bowl. Make sure to write the students name on the bottom with Sharpie before beginning. This will save you a lot of hassle, I promise.
I did the clay sculpting with the students in two 40 minute class periods but you could do it in one if you're rushed for time
The first day was spent creating the flower petals. They each started with a slab of clay and cut out 10-15 diamond (or oval or almond) shapes. They put a chunk of clay in the middle to create a base and "scratch and attached" the petals to that base. Next they used tools to create texture and some students cut out other shapes to add more dimension to the petals.
The next class we added details to our center. They began by rolling out a ball of clay, squashing it with their palm and "scratching and attaching" it to the middle to start with a smooth area. Then they added texture and detail to this area as well. Between the two classes we kept the clay wrapped up in plastic bags so that it would stay good and moist.
When the clay sculptures are dry, you can easily remove them from the styrofoam bowls and scratch the students name onto the bottom of the flower bowl.