I love this project for the beginning of the year- it's a fairly straightforward project which gives wonderfully colorful results. You can also get a good idea of each students level if you have new students. I call these "Rainbow Words of Gratitude" but you could change the theme of the words to anything you want. Students' names, favourite subjects, etc. You could also teach colour theory with this lesson- having students choose warm or cool colours, analagous colours or complementary colours. So many possibilities.
I found the lesson on the Incredible Art Department website HERE.
Students in Grades 4 - 6 had to think of something they were grateful for in their lives. They folded a sheet of 81/2 x 14" paper in half horizontally. They printed the word nice and large on the paper then outlined it using a black marker. Then they chose colours they wanted to use around the word. Trace around each letter with one colour, then move on to the next colour until there is no white space left.