On the first day, I give students about 15 minutes and a handful of Popsicle sticks. They aren't allowed any glue yet. We talk about using the sticks to make a skeleton of their drawing. They can create a realistic picture (houses, people fences, etc.) or an abstract picture full of shapes and colors. They get 15 minutes to rearrange the sticks and then when I approve their design, they get to glue the Popsicle sticks down. (Also, they aren't allowed to stack the sticks tall on the paper.)
On the second day, they finish their drawings. We use markers to color the Popsicle sticks and crayons for the background. A lot of the time, some of these are just random scribbles and leaning more towards the abstract side, but I can always tell which students are really into art, their composition and still willing to be creative and think about their project at the end of the year based on their designs!