Hands On Color Wheel with Phillip Martin
Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes:
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Introduce the terms hues (colors) and tone (value)
Introduce Primary, Secondary and Intermediate Colors
Several sheets of 9" x 12" construction paper
Primary colors of tempera paint
3 brushes
Containers for paint
Art shirts for each student
Primary, Secondary and Intermediate Colors, Hue, Value
Helpful hint right from the start: This project works best if you have another adult body to help with sink duty.

Have the students sit around one table. Begin with a discussion of colors on the color wheel. Explain that there is an order to the way in which the colors are positioned on the color wheel. The first set of colors is the Primary Colors. See if the children can list them - red, yellow, and blue. The second set of colors is the Secondary Colors. No need to list them yet. The children will soon see this for themselves. The third set of colors, Tertiary or Intermediate Colors will also be discovered.

Demonstrate with students one at a time making hand prints with Primary Colors. As individual students finish, send them off to the sink with the other adult supervisor.

After the Primary Colors have been printed, continue with Secondary colors. Look at a pyramid labeled with the Primary colors. What are two colors that can be blended? Apply red paint to one had and yellow to another. Let the child mix them. Then, add orange to the chart with Secondary Colors. Do the same with violet and green.

Helpful hint: Blue and Red make Purple. However, a good Purple is not easy to create. I cheat. First I try it with Red and Blue. Then, the cheating takes over. I have students use a Red-Violet with Blue to get a Barney Purple.

After the Secondary Colors have been made, discuss how the term "intermediate" means "in the middle". What is in the middle of red and orange? Red-orange. So, add two dabs of red and one of yellow to a student's hands. Do the same with all Intermediate Colors.

For a bit of chaos and fun after this demonstration, allow the students to experiment with the colors for a while. Finally, bring the class back to order and have the students create their own color wheel with two triangles. Label Primary, Secondary and Intermediate colors. Apply color with crayons.

Copyright 2000, revised 2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.