Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Primary and Secondary Color Play

Students in Kindergarten and first grade are experimenting with the primary colors to mix and make secondary colors.  When exposing early elementary to the primary and secondary colors, sometimes I show the first three chapters of "Getting to Know Color in Art" to introduce and review key vocabulary words such as Primary and Secondary and other times we go straight to color play with the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue).
 Last week and this week, students have only used red, yellow and blue paint to help reinforce that two primary colors mix to make a secondary color.  To give students the opportunity to play, each table section is assigned two primary colors on trays and one painting tool. No direction is given about the tools or colors at the station, only the encouragement to experiment, but try to keep the paint on the papers and trays. Table Inspectors are assigned to help wipe tables at the end of class when things become a little messy.
 Dependent upon the day and how quickly we make it to our seats, we may make it through one or two stations during our 30 minute art period. One station of play during this week is painting with cars, trucks and tractors using only yellow and red paint (y + r = orange).
A second station involves toothbrushes and yellow and blue paint (y + b = green).
Our third station has one tray of blue paint and one tray of red paint (r + b = purple). Students are using brushes and paint scrapers to create some beautiful textures.
Paint effects stampers are used at the fourth station with yellow and red paint (y + r = orange).
First graders are using cardboard in the last station. This one always bring a quizzical look from my students, but many found some unique ways to create designs from the edges and even create a textured look by spackling with the cardboard. Instead of cardboard for Kindergarten, we do something I like to call "Primary Hands". Students use their hands to mix two primary colors to make a secondary color and stamp the colors on a 9x12 inch drawing paper. My kindergarteners love this activity and I think it really helps reinforce which primary colors mix to make a specific secondary color.

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