Before drawing our Beanie Babies we first did some blind contour drawings of them by poking a paper plate on top of our pencils, so we couldn't see the drawing we were doing on the paper. After a few of these practices, I then had the class really study the shadows of the stuffed animals and their goal was to get light and dark shadows in their drawing.
All the drawings turned out close to their models, except for the artistic licensing one of my students decided to take with poor Piglet. (The "Piglet" was cute and intact, but the artist decided to render him a bit differently as you can see below. The drawing was well received at the end of class.)