In preparing for my art lesson on the terracotta warriors of China, I came across other ancient cultures that put ceramic sculptures at their burial sites. In Japan, these pieces are called "haniwa" which means ceramic cylinder, which was how they began. Later, ghost-like figures, soldiers, animal and house forms were made.
My distance learning students used Sculpy oven-bake clay to create animal or house sculptures. My students who were physically present in class could work on larger pieces to be fired in the kiln. Some students choose to paint their final pieces, while others left the terracotta color. It was a lot of fun to work with the slab roller and use hand building techniques and everyone took a lot of pride in their finished piece.