This is a great lesson I did with grade one and three. I loved the results and the kids had a great time exploring lines. It’s always good to review what a line is with your students and go over … Continue reading
I have started my next big unit on LINES as part of the Elements of Art Theme. It’s important for kids to have an understanding of these elements which will help them when they go and make their own art. By knowing what the seven elements (line, shape, form, color, value, texture and space) of art are, kids will appreciate that all the art in the world is done with one or more of these elements.
I choose to look at each element seperately so that my students can really get a good grasp of them and practice using them when making their own art work.
Start by telling your students that they will become a detective. This is a good time to define what a detective is and then tell them they will be a ‘line detective’ This is a hit with younger kids, grades 2 down. We first brainstorm all the lines we know and I let my kids come up to the smartboard and draw their lines. We them establish that a line is a mark made by a pointed tool such as a pencil, crayon, marker, paintbrush, tree branch, etc. For older kids you can get into more detail about what a line is. It’s important for kids to learn that lines can be vertical, horizontal, straight, diagnal, wavy, zig-zag and curved. Of course add more ‘line’ words to your list but these are essentially the basic lines to know.
Then give each student their sketchbook, a pencil, marker and a crayon and hunt for lines in the classroom. Once they find a line, they record it in their sketchbook by copying it. Once you have found some interesting lines in the classroom, go outside and record more lines.
Kids have a great time finding lines and it makes them aware of all the lines around them. When you come back to class discuss your findings and then show a slide show (that you previously made!) showing lines in nature such as leaves, buildings, birds, architecture, water ripple etc. Have your kids point to the lines they see and use the correct word: horizontal, curvy, zig-zag, vertical, etc.
I love teaching my students how to make tints and shades because it gives them the freedom to make their own colors and and they are always amazed how many colors they can make by using black or white and another color.
Since I am laying a foundation for color mixing the rule in my class is they must make a tint and shade of a primary color or if they want a secondary color they must mix it first. This reinforces mixing secondary colors.
Begin by explaining or reviewing what a tint and shade is. You can show a slideshow of art work that show tints or shades to show your kids what they are capable of doing. Introduce the word momochromatic colors to your older students.
Start by letting your students choose one hue to work with. On their plastic plate they should place a spoonful of white, black and 2 amounts of a the hue of their choice.
Grade three were given a white piece of paper and they cut out two big shapes. They were to show their pure hue gradually get lighter (tint) on one shape and gradullay get darker (shade) on the other shape. They could either start in the middle and work out or start on the outer edge of their shape and work in.
Grade five practised making tints and shades on a piece of paper and then drew a cityscape with curved buildings, to make their art work a little more interesting. Their challenge was to fill in all the white space of their drawing with tints and shades of the color they chose. If they chose a secondary color (orange, green or purple) they had to first mix it with the primary colors. This was a great project for them to because the final result is stunning and they really grasped the idea of tints and shades.
Here are some examples of fabulous artwork done by making a tint or a shade of a color.
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I am always trying to think of creative ways to reinforce some of the elements of art. Here is a great project that will help you do just that. Kids will learn or review, depending on the age level, lines, primary colors, shape, space and even value.
After discussing these elements, give your students a 12 x 18 piece of white paper, pencil and ruler. They are to make a mix of vertical, diagnal and horizontal lines that can either be straight, zig-zag or wavy. Once they have outlined their lines with a black crayon, they go to the painting station where there are paint cups with the primary colros waiting for them. Go over the routine of how to use a brush (wash your brush between colors) and starting with one primary color they paint diferent sections of their paper. Remind them that two same colors cannot be next to each other! Then they go onto the next primary color and so on.
Once their painting is dry, they need to cut up their paper and keep the pieces in the same order they are cutting them because they will glue them down onto a large piece of black paper, kind of like a jig saw puzzle. When they glue them down, there remind them to keep a small space between strips.
The final result is beautiful and the kids love to see them when they are finished. this project can be adapted to any age level. Instead of painting with the primary colors you could paint different shades or tints of a hue (color), use only warm or cool colors, complementary colors, etc. The possibilties are endless!
Teaching how a color wheel works is fun for kids and it teaches primary and secondary colors. I decided that all of my grades would make different kinds of color wheels. I am big on displays so I thought that it would look lovely for a final display.
Essentially, a color wheel is a tool to visually see the postion of the primary colors and the secondary colors which are mixed from red, yellow and blue. Experiment beforehand with this and have your students mix, mix mix! They love this and it’s important for them to get as much hands on experience because you learn so much more from DOING!
After the kids have mixed, explored and discovered, they are ready to make their own color wheels. Here are some samples of some of the color wheel my students made. Grade one made theirs the following way. I gave out pre- cut cardboard circles and then gave out a 9 x 12 piece of white paper which the students folded into 6 sections. Their instructions were to draw 3 identical shapes and paint them with the primary colors. The shapes needed to be simple with no details and just an outline. Then they made an outline of three other identical shapes. Their challenge was to make the secondary colors by mixing two primary colors together. They needed to make 3 new colors. I gave out plastic plates with some red, yellow and blue paint. Tip: plastic plates can be washed an re- used again and again!
They collected their water container, paint brush and protective paper for the table. It’s good to remind the students that they must keep their three colors ‘clean’ and can mix colors on another part of their plate. They must remember to wash their brush between colors using their water cup and dry their brush on the protective paper before mixing or changing colors. This is a routine that needs to be done over and over till they get it and it’s automatic.
Once they made their new colors (green, orange and purple), they painted their remaining shapes. I then gave out their cardboard circles and they made some lines on them for divisions and painted them in using black and white. When everything was dry, they glued their ‘primary color’ shapes at the 12 , 3 and 9 o’clock marks on their circles and the secondary colors inbetween the primary colors. Then they glued yarn between the primary and secondary colors.
With my grade two class we made color wheel pizzas. These were a lot of fun and the kids loved doing them. They also looked stunning once they were finished and displayed. See my display page for ideas. Anyway, after the kids experimented mixing colors and could tell me how to make the secondary colors, I gave them a giant pre-cut cardboard circle which they divied up into 6 sections. They colored the primary colors and secondary color sections with crayon and then had to fill in each section with ‘toppings’ which were different kinds of paper and magazine cut outs for each color. They brought in from home other toppings such as balloons, wrapping paper etc.. When they were finished , the students sprinkled each section with glitter ‘cheese’. The end result was gorgeous and delicious!
Here’s another great art project that involves exploring lines, geometry and using primary colors. This art project is inspired by Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian. There is plenty of information on the web plus if you go to google images you’ll find many wonderful examples of his work. Before starting this project I made a slide show of many of Piet Mondrian’s art examples (from google images of course) as well as Mondrian inspired art work from other artists.
Explain to the students that they will make an abstract collage using black, red, yellow and blue paper. Give out a large 18 x 12 white piece of paper, (I love to give kids plenty of space and 9 x 12 paper is not good enough!) . Hand out red, yellow and blue paper (primary colors) plus scissors, a ruler and a glue stick. Tell them to put these materials aside for a bit as they will start with black paper. Give out black paper the same size as your white paper and tell your student to cut it into thin strips cutting horizontally. Ten thin strips is plenty. Tip: to save paper two students can share one piece of black paper.
Next, have the kids play around a bit with their ‘lines’ and to place some strips horizontally and the rest vertically and 1 or 2 strips diagnally. The vertical one will need to be trimmed. Encourage them to place shorter lines within a square or rectangle section. See the sample below.
Once they are happy with their design, they can glue their lines one by one carefully so they don’t lose their original design. They should have a white piece of paper with different rectangles, squares and even triangles. The next part of the project involves filling in most of the areas with either red, blue or yellow paper. This involves them measuring the section with a ruler. Some kids like to place the colored paper over the section and figure out the size. This is ok too because it’s showing creative thinking skills!
It’s important to stress that one or two sections should remain white. They can also place smaller shapes of a different color within shape that already has color. Let them explore and experiment. The results are amazing!
Once your students are happy with their design, show the slideshow of Piet Mondrian’s artwork and have the kids compare, contrast and discuss the artist’s work with their own final piece.
Note: For this project, I preferred to show samples of Piet Mondrian’s art at the end of the project because I wanted my student to explore the lines, shapes and color placement without a sample to ‘copy’ from. Most of them were so surprised to see that they were able to make artwork like someone famous too!
Here is a quick slideshow of the lesson.
Making color blots are fun and the kids get a real sense of how colors mix to make new colors. Give each child a white piece of paper and have them fold the paper in half. Meanwhile you have already set up a painting station with the primary colors in tubs and with a plastic spoon in each tub.
Discuss the primary colors (red, yellow and blue). Explain that you cannot mix other colors to make blue, yellow or red. The primary colors are special colors because if you mix two of them together you make a new color called the secondary colors.
Allow them to discover the new colors they make by letting them choose their combinations. They should spoon a dollop of two primary colors into the middle of the crease on their paper. Tell them to close their paper, rub the paint around, open the paper and what do you see? Their amazement at discovering a new color is wonderful and they’ll want to make more colors! Let them do this with other primary color combinations till they have made green, orange and purple (the secondary colors).
With the Grade Ones and Two’s I encourage them put paint on their paper and fill the entire white space with two primary colors. Then they close it, rub it a little and their final product looks pretty awesome!
At the beginning of each school year I like to teach a big unit on color. This is essential so the kids learn a bit about color theory, mixing their own colors, and exploring how they can use color in their art work. I am always amazed how kids now a days have little clue about where colors come from, how they are made and how they have the ability to make any color they want by mixing the primary colors.
At my new school I have had to start from the beginning with all my grade levels to give them a good base. I’m ok with this and it’s my chance to really lay a good foundation. Typically the sequence of lessons begin with primary colors, secondary colors, color wheels, warm and cool colors, making tints and shades and complementary colors. If I have time then I end my making colors the way they used to make them before you could walk into an art store and by ready made paint. I’ll post my lessons and place them into the grade level categories so it’s easier to read and find.
Here you’ll find ideas for art lessons that you can use in your classroom. I’ll post my lessons here with pictures so hopefully you can benefit from these ideas and enjoy them as much as my kids and I do!