So this is another project that was made with the Crayola air-dry clay, which I don't like to use, especially in warmer months. If I did this again and had a kiln, I would definitely use firing clay instead.
The form starts out as a simple pinch pot. The students rolled their clay into a ball first (we sang "roll, roll, roll. your clay" to the tune of "row, row, row your boat"); then they pinched into the middle with their thumbs; next the cup is shaped; finally details are added on using slipping and scoring. Elephants, bunnies, kitties, and puppies were popular animal choices. The tail for most animals became the handle of the teacup. For the elephant it was the trunk.
The dried clay was painted with tempera paints. I would probably still paint the fired clay, only I would use watercolors like a stain instead.
Here is the teacup menagerie: