Art lessons enhance any child's education, and according to the American Association of School Administrators, statistics show that an art curriculum increases a child's academic test scores. Children can learn about colour theory through fun colour mixing activities. Introduce the colour wheel for the first lesson, and then use activities to enhance students' understanding of the relationships between colours.
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Preschool and kindergarten children can learn about primary and secondary colours, or the colours made from primary colours, in a finger painting activity. Pass out worksheets with a printed blank rainbow. Give each child red, blue and yellow finger paints to make up the colours of the rainbow. Children will learn that red and blue make purple, yellow and red make orange, and yellow and blue make green. You'll need wet paper towels for the children to clean their fingers between mixing colours.
Elementary schoolchildren can make their own colour wheels with tempura paints on paper. Pass out paper plates for mixing the primary colours of red, blue and yellow. Students will first draw out a colour wheel with boxes for primary and secondary colours. Children will mix paints and apply them to the correct boxes with paint brushes. Older students can also mix tertiary colours, which are combinations of primary and secondary colours. The six tertiary colours are red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet.
Middle schoolchildren can learn colour mixing and geometric shapes by creating their own Op Art, which was an art movement popular in the 1960s. Children should draw a checkerboard type design with different geometric shapes on a piece of paper. Afterwards, they will apply their mixed paints. Ask the children to place complementary colours, which are colours on the opposite side of the colour wheel, side by side on their paintings. Placing complementary colours together will make them look like they pop out and vibrate.
Collage Color Wheel
High school students can create their own collage colour wheel works of art. By tearing up old magazines, students can create a colour wheel with torn paper. Once they learn the concepts of colour theory, the children can create any picture from this collage method. By using collage, children will learn to spot the different hues and shades of the colour wheel. They can learn that by placing small pieces of colours together, it will look mixed from farther away. They'll also learn to cooperate and help each other find colours that they need for their projects.
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