My 1st graders are getting their introduction to ceramics by making pinch pots. I showed them some pictures of Native American pottery (the geometric designs are really interesting!), and then we talked about different things the Native American Indians might have used their pots for.
The students were really excited about the topic, and thoroughly enjoyed making their own pinch pots. I let them use their pencils (no sharp clay tools until at least second grade!) to carve designs on the outside, and many of the students did an excellent job emulating the Native American style.
Below are a few pinch pots waiting to get fired so we can glaze them. I was just loading my kiln, and noticed the beautiful designs on these, so I stopped to take a picture.