Some objects were available from my collection, others students had to bring. Together we built a still life and everyone shared the importance of their object. We worked in a large circle, arranging objects so that what you brought was in your point of view as well as neighboring objects. After discussing composition and choice of view, students drew on paper I had prepared ahead of time.
The drawing paper had ripped strips of black paper glued onto white drawing paper. I used a spray adhesive, but glue stick would work fine. One sheet of black paper covers two sheets of white. Students drew in pencil first. It does show on black. We used permanent marker on the white paper to outline, and white colored pencil on the black papers. We spoke of value, and adding shades and highlights, even crosshatching for those that could handle it. (This was a mixed class summer class of grades 2 through 8) The white areas were colored realistically, and the black papers were done with metallic colored pencils I had. The black could have been done in contrasting colors, or any other color scheme, but I chose metallic colors since my students had been looking for an excuse to use them. Sometimes the use of a fun and new media can be a great motivator.
We were all happy with the results, and at the end everyone knew that each object had a specific, unique, and personal meaning. Had I built a still life for them to draw, we might have had similar results, but because the element of student choice were incorporated, it made it all that much more special.