This is a lesson I've done a couple of times and been pretty happy with the results. There are alot of steps, though, to get these results, so you need some pretty focussed students.
I did this project with a Grade 10 class recently.
I found the lesson plan here on the Incredible Art Department site. It gives pretty comprehensive directions which is great.
Here's how we did it:
Students practiced drawing contour hands in a variety of interesting gestures/poses on regular loose sheets of white paper-- then chose their best 3-5.
Here's some good samples...cut around them.
Now we need to graphite transfer them onto colored paper, so coat the back of each hand with a dark pencil (we used a 4B graphite stick)
Coat the whole back of the hand....
Then choose a piece of colored paper, cut it to the appropriate size and measure out a wide border.
Place the hands on the colored paper, having the wrists come out from the border. Move them around until you're happy with the composition.
Tape them down. Then, using a ball point pen, press hard and transfer them to the colored paper.
Here the hands have been transferred- now you paint around them with tempera. This was, by far, the most difficult step for students. It has to be clean and precise.
Painting the background with bronze tempera.
This student taped off the border to keep it clean.
Once the painting is done, outline the hands with a fine Sharpie.
Then, they need to print off some fonts- they should somehow relate to the hand composition. Transfer them the same way as the hands then paint or colour in with markers.
(Note: I had to crop the borders off some of them...)