Wow, this one seemed to be a big hit. I don't know if it was said sarcastically or not (can't always tell with 8th graders) but I heard one say it was the best project so far. At least by looking at them, it looks like they enjoyed it.
Back about eleventy billion years ago I did my student teaching at Indiana Junior High School in Indiana County. They were fortunate enough and big enough to be able to have three art teachers who, in turn split up the curriculum and each taught different processes and techniques.
One of the lessons I taught was this ceramic mash-up where each student drew two slips of paper from bowls, one with an animal and one with an object on it. For example, the student could pick an alligator and a stapler. The final sculpture project needed to include elements of both the animal and the object so the viewer could look at it and say "Oh, that's an (animal)" or "Oh, I see it's an (object)"