So I decided to do a project that was simple but could be complicated depending on what the students put into it. I wanted something that had tons of options with very little instruction. So we started doing tape and paint abstracts on canvas.
I had each student bring in a canvas size of their choosing. We then started by making samples on small scraps of watercolor paper so that they could get a few ideas before just diving into their canvas. We played with applying tape designs first versus painting first. We experimented with what happens if you paint then tape then add more tape and paint again. It was a lot of experimenting going on. I think they each found their design and technique in this process. Some still decided to just wing it.
Once they were ready for the final I gave them the good blue painters tape to create their designs. Some painted first, some taped first, some cut the tape some made symmetrical designs, some just let go with their designs. But in all it was good for them to have no restrictions and to just have fun with mediums.