Thursday, July 9, 2015

Alternative Color Wheels

My goal this year with my 6th graders was to do more open ended projects in order for them to connect more to their art and to enjoy art more. This project was a really fun way to see them explore color and the color wheel and how they interpreted both...

Not sure where I developed this lesson from, probably the color wheel eyes and umbrellas floating around on Pinterest.

I Can Statement: I can create an alternative color wheel and use paint to mix secondary colors.

Day 1: I wanted to see how much information they retained throughout their elementary years of 3+ different art teachers, so I started with a blank color wheel and asked them to fill it out, no wrong answers, just telling me what they knew. After they were finished I played my FAVORITE color concept youtube video to "reveal the answers".

Then I asked them to go back and correct their answers and fill it in based on this color wheel which matched their blank one... 

Screenshot 2015-02-01 at 7.34.42 PM.png

Once we revisited the basics, I posed the question "Does the color wheel have to be a circle?" This got all the gears turned and a ton of examples from the internet definitely answered the question that it certainly did not in fact have to be a plain jane circle... 

    Art_Class_Color_Wheel_by_WalkingxxSpazztic.png       tumblr_inline_n3evzfG3eT1qejulh.jpg

The biggest requirement was that they mix the secondary colors and showed the six basic colors in an organized way that represented the color wheel... Then they got down to sketching!

Day 2: After a quick 1:1 with me and getting sketches approved they got to work.

Day 3-5: Lots of work time and artist statements once again (insert student groans).

I am so proud of the work they did on these, proud enough that I even took the time to hand write comments on each of the pieces (over 60!) It was worth the intense amount of hand pain!

I received an unbelievable amount of comments and praise from other staff and students and it was well deserved! 

The only issue that arose during the project was that some students lost sight about the project being about the color wheel and color concepts and were just "mixing paint". But, it was my first time with this lesson and I should have put more emphasis on that. It was just so exciting to watch them create!


  1. My favorite song too! The kids love it. I really like this lesson idea. A great place to start the year I think. A review of color, sketching and stretching their ideas. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Anne! I saw so much more intention in this project over many others with my 6th graders, it was amazing to watch their ideas develop and show their knowledge of color at the same time.