I had pastello's in my classroom, which I had never heard of, and designed this project around their use. Pastellos are pressed colored chalk crayons, and prang makes a version of them. I have never seen the brand that were already in my classroom, so they must be very old. They blend very easily, come in bright, rich colors, and are similar to a chalk pastel's consistency but they do not create the powdery mess of chalk pastels. I definitely recommend pastellos.
Students used the pastellos on heavy weight black drawing paper to flaunt their richness, and, to further demonstrate their bold colors, students create jungle scenes with lots of overlapping foliage. I had tons of visual resources for students to draw from.
Henri Rousseau was our inspiration and we looked at his paintings, naming the foreground, middleground, background, and focal point; elements that the drawings needed to have.