Students watch Peep and the Big Wide World's episode "A Peep of a Different Color" which covers color mixing and paint properties.
We talk about primary colors and how they mix to create secondary colors. On the color mixing sheet, we experiment with mixing colors using crayons. Afterwards on the back of the sheet, they do a sketch of 6 birds. I put circle tracers (used up tape rolls, cups, etc) on the tables to help them make round birds. We talk about the attributes of a bird (feet, beak, wings, etc) to turn circles into birds.
After their sketch, they draw their 6 birds in pencil on a 12x18" white paper. When done drawing, they outline with a black crayon. This usually takes me to the end of the first class, and usually some students are not finished.
In the next class, I tell them to use white crayon to add details to their scene. I use it in the background to make clouds and make feathers or patterns on my birds. I ask if they have colored hard with a crayon and felt it-it usually feels smooth/slick. I tell them because it is so smooth, paint cannot stick to the crayon. Remind them to press hard with the white crayon else the paint can stick.
When they are done outlining everything with black and adding details with white, they can start painting with primary colors. I have students do one bird each in primary colors, and one bird each in secondary colors. Some students want to draw more than 6 birds, which is fine as they can mix new colors in the extra birds. I teach them to mix on their paper and not in the palette. When they are done with the birds, they paint a blue wash for the sky.