The first project my high school students do in Intro to Visual Arts is to design their sketchbook cover using Zentangle patterns (this can also be done on cardstock or drawing paper). This unit gives the students confidence in their drawing abilities and teaches them that art can be therapeutic.
This resource is a 13 page word document file that includes the daily handouts I give the students over the course of the 9 lessons in the unit. The word document can be edited to suit your needs! (Please look at my store for a free download of the unit outline). This includes step by step drawing "Do Nows" for the first five minutes of class, a project rubric, notes sheets, a unit quiz study guide, and the end of unit quiz.
I teach this unit to an Intro to Visual Arts class that is mixed grade (9th-12th) but it could be adapted for middle school as well.