Magazine article Arts & Activities

"Crazy" Color Wheel

Magazine article Arts & Activities

"Crazy" Color Wheel

Article excerpt

I like projects that reinforce the use of the color wheel. Actually being able to use it lets students know that it is more than just a decoration that hangs on the wall of most art rooms. When a visual serves a purpose, it becomes a useful tool.

My fifth-graders were ready to learn how to use the color wheel. The first step was to choose a topic. I have many still-life objects in my room, as well as a variety of plastic animals. I had not used the reptiles very much and the kids were more than ready to try to draw what they saw!

They picked numbers out of a hat and took turns going to select which object they wanted--I had some pretty realistic turtles and lizards, so sometimes the choice was difficult. With selections made, we started the task of really looking at the animals. I reminded them to draw what they see, not what they know or think they see. We talked about shape, details and patterns. As a group, we decided to draw the animal from a bird's-eye view because it would fill the space better. Now the drawing could begin.

I had prepared drawing paper that was already divided into six sections; by making a master and running them through the copy machine. This was a huge time saver, since this was not part of what I was teaching, ff your lesson was cross-curricular and you were working with the math department, however, you might add a lesson on the use of a protractor and/or ruler.

I asked students to look carefully and to fill the space. They were to make certain that some part of the animal was in all six of the color-wheel sections. They could add some appropriate details if there was too much empty space around the animal. Many added things like scales or plates of the turtle shell along with other features that would give realistic appearance.

When the drawings were finished, the next step was to add color. Oil pastels were the medium because there are many colors from which to choose and they easily blend. …

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