For the month of November, my first graders have been learning about colors. We began with the Color Wheel, describing how it is useful for artists. The Color Wheel helps us identify secondary colors (orange, purple and green) that are between the Primary Colors (red, blue, yellow). This is the main focus as the next lesson is about mixing the Primary Colors on a plate! The students also learned how the color wheel can show us complementary colors which are opposite of one another on the wheel, and warm/cool colors.
For the first lesson, they traced a circle and used a ruler to make six pieces of pie. I had examples at each table so that the colors were added correctly. They also were asked to write "The Color Wheel", "Primary" and "Secondary" with the colors being identified. Hopefully some of this will stick in their artistic memory!
The next lesson is about color mixing. They have had a lesson already about basic paint procedure and brush cleaning. I put the 3 Primary colors in a triangle and basically ask that the secondary colors are mixed between them. They need to be given a demo, certainly emphasizing the need to keep some of the primary colors left for the painting! Once completed, the plate should look like a color wheel, with the Primary/Secondary pattern all the way around!! They love this and seem to understand once the plate and color wheel are shown side by side.
For the third lesson, we discuss the artist Piet Mondrian with his wonderful abstract artwork. The students are shown how he used different placement of black lines. They are introduced to Vertical, Horizontal and Diagonal. They are each given 5 1" strips of black construction paper and asked to arrange them to create large shapes. Next, I passed out Primary colored oil pastels, and suggested to color in several shapes. This is a good lesson as it covers math concepts and color elements in one short period! Sure hope you enjoy and be sure to encourage discovery with your young ones as well!