My beginning high school students learn 5 ways with watercolor (wet on
wet, dry brush, stencil, blockout, salt), and then they are given 3 fall
leaves (obviously in the fall, you may try giving them flowers), and
they have to draw the leaves lightly in pencil in a composition that is
distinctly verticle, showing motion, i.e. falling or being blown. They
then have to render the leaves in watercolor using all 5 techniques.
When done, they put them aside and we work on haiku. They then learn
calligraphy and put their haiku on the page with the leaves. Narry a
bad one in the bunch. They all come out great!