The first grade students were studying plants and flowers so this was a project designed with that in mind. All of my classes did clay this year using Mexal Air Dry Clay made by Laguna Clay Company. Without a kiln, this is a good alternative.
Students were given a blob of clay and then instructed to flatten it and cut a rectangular or square shape to create a flat surface that they could press found objects into or draw onto to create flower images.
Once the plaques were dry, the students used Jazz Gloss Tempera to paint them. I did not seal them but that certainly could and probably should be done to preserve them even further.