I thought it was a great idea and that it would be a nice way to transition into the school year. One of the last projects that they did at the end of the year last year as 4th graders dealt with exploring watercolor techniques so I thought watercolor would be the perfect medium for the journals!
Students used thick white paper and began by folding it in half so that they knew where the front and back of the journal would be. I was very open with students about what their designs could be. The only stipulations were that the journal had to have their name on the front top side very clearly. The design also could not have any words/numbers and should really be focused on pattern and design.
They did their drawings with Sharpies (of course some used pencil first). To add color, the students blended together watercolors. This was a simple project that turned out really awesome. It took 3 classes for most students (a handful needed an extra day) and their teacher was really happy with the results. I will probably continue to do this in the years to come. Great way to start off the school year.