On the first day I went through my now standard "Journey of Clay" PowerPoint with my students and we talked about the four main ways of building with clay: slab, coil, pinching, and wheel.
Afterwards I showed my students how to use my slab roller to flatten their chunk of clay into a lovely "sheet of clay" (aka - slab), then each student got to try it out themselves.
Once they had their slab, students cut any shape they wanted into their clay and then pressed some texture into it (I have a ga'gillion texture plates now - I went a little crazy on Amazon). Once they had that done I had them put up their clay, clean up their spot, then wash their hands.
On the second day I demo'ed how to roll out a coil, create a letter, and then properly attach it to a slab using the score and slip method. Students could create 1-3 letters to add to their slab. Then they used a straw to poke two holes into the top of their slab (to hang them later).
After a few days of drying out, I bisque fired the clay in my kiln.
Then during my students next rotation (about a month later) we got down to decorating!
I wasn't sure what I wanted my kids to paint with. Normally we just use tempera, but I was worried that it might cover up the texture too much, so instead we used oil pastels and watercolor paints. It's a technique that I've always wanted to try anyways, so I thought what the heck.
Once their clay pieces were dry, students added pipe cleaners and beads to make their clay slab into a lovely hanging decoration.