My fifth grade art club just finished their final project of the year with a lesson on clay, self-portraits, and clay slabs. They created these slab people in four classes (we meet once a week). We made stencils out of paper and used them to cut out basic body / clothing shapes out of clay. The students carved in the detail on the face and clothing and then used water color to paint the clay in its bisque form. We covered the pieces in a shiny clear varnish and connected the pieces with pipe cleaners and wooden and plastic beads. The students had a blast and the slab people were fun to make and are fun to look at.
I want to give a shout out to my cooperating teacher Deb for the idea when I was student teaching two years ago... Thanks!