For some reason, I really enjoy beginning the year with this project for 3rd grade. It is a nice combination of drawing, pastel, collage, and painting so it gets the students back into the swing of things. For this project, we study the art of the Aboriginal people of Australia. Each student chooses an Australian animal and begins by doing an "x-ray" drawing of the animal on construction paper. These drawings are colored using oil pastels. Next, backgrounds are designed using a different color of construction paper. This really makes the animals pop. Usually, the simpler the design, the better the background comes out. Finally, students used q-tips and a limited range of colors to paint the background.
The lesson plan can be found here.
My keynote is here.
Please feel free to use these in your classroom!