On the first day of the fish project we looked at pictures of different kinds of fish then had a discussion. What does a fish look like? How are they the same? How are they different? What shapes and colors can they be? I modeled how to draw a basic fish to help them understand the parts and placement of the fins, tail etc...but encouraged each student to create their own fish by changing the shape and size of the parts. I also encouraged them to make their fish LARGE. Next we talked about what they could add to create an environment for their fish.
After they finished their practice drawings I passed out watercolor paper and they either redrew their fish or created a new one on the watercolor paper. When they finished their drawings they went to a "gluing station" to trace their pencil lines with black glue. The project was left to dry until the following week.
The students used watercolor pencils activated with water to add color to everything but the blue background which was a tempera paint wash applied at the very end of class.