There is something to be said about using quality supplies - when your budget can afford them!
My fifth grade used high quality watercolor paper and liquid watercolors to create these AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL pieces.
As the leaves were turning colors, I collected a variety of maple leaves with interesting colors and a variety of sizes. The directions were to trace around 5, 6, or 7 leaves - which is not the easiest thing to do! Then after a demonstration of watercolor techniques the student began using red, orange, yellow and green to paint the leaves. I suggested that they look at the actual leaves to get inspired when they paint.
When the paper was good and dry, the student moved onto the negative space using blue and purple. This project took three, one hour classes to complete. Of course there were a handful of students in each class that needed an extra day to complete, which was fine with me because these all turned out so AWESOME!!! I had purchased the frame paper a few years ago through Triarco and I am so happy that I remembered where I had put them! The frames really finish these paintings.