I give each child a piece of clay about 2x2x6" and ask them to pinch off about 1/3 and set it aside. They then take the large piece and pat it into a pancake. Then score and slip opposite sides and pull up to make a taco shape. Tap the bottom lightly on the table so the fish will sit and not fall to the side.
The students then choose an end they don't like and score and slip the inside and close. The seam along the top and back is smoothed to make it disappear. Then a small amount is pinched off the back/top to separate the top fin from the tail.
They then use the extra clay that was set aside to make two side fins out of flat triangle shapes. they score and slip to attach them. They roll two equal pieces into sphere and score and slip to attach for eyes. Then used a doll rod to press into the eyes for the center dot.
Now the fun begins. With any left over clay they may add anything they wish to make their fish their own. In the past I have had man eating fish, baby fish attached to the side of the bigger fish, snorkels and bubbles, purses, hair ect.
I fire them and then the students glaze them and I refire them. They are always a success and the kids can't wait to take them home. One of my favorite lessons!