With my fourth grade classes we discussed shading, blending and still life by having students draw balloon animals using oil pastels.
We also spent some time discuss the artist Jeff Koons and his artwork which inspired this project. I shared with my students the importance of breaking still life objects down into simple shapes and not trying to tackle the whole thing at once.
Since the only real shapes for drawing these balloon animals are varying ovals it was a good first step. I noticed they were more confident in their drawings and this allowed them to focus more on the shading and blending.