By the way - this is a long post. I hope you'll stick with me!!!
My 2nd graders used the same still life as inspiration for painting/collages that focused on the goldfish bowl. By the way, the goldfish in the still life were made from colored foam, and were in a bowl lined with blue cellophane. The flowers were fake (from the dollar store), because I wanted them to last for a while. Some of their pics are below. You can see a few more of the finished pieces in a post here, from October 2010.
The drawings were done to a size that would fit tagboard hand mirrors the kids created. But they had to paint them first, and cut them out, so we could create the mirror illusion. They carefully mixed their own skin and hair tones. The drawings were glued to metallic silver contact paper, which was adhered to the mirror.
And then, of course, those portraits with partners:
When my district consolidated into one building, my classroom was on the 2nd floor, a very long walk from the door. It was no longer practical to take the class outside during a class period. So I brought the outside in. The sunflowers were planted (at my request) in the school garden. I had to sneak out a window on the first floor to get the flowers! Luckily, the teacher whose window I used was very cooperative!
First graders (below) were given crayons and liquid watercolor.
Oh! Some more lilacs!