I was looking for a painting lesson that would allow second grade to begin to mix colors and explore on their own. In first grade, we usually go step by step together with painting lessons, so this was a chance for students to complete a painting assignment on their own.
I made the classes a checklist of four things I needed to see on their paper (the secondary colors and a tint), but the rest of the colors were theirs to create. I loved the excitement during the class and the exclamations of "red-violet" and "blue-green!" This is a fun way to really start talking about tertiary colors. At the end of class, one boy even thanked me for letting them make any colors they wanted. Learning is best when it feels like play!
The rest of the lesson was more controlled, and the background papers were painted with analogous colors. The real reason for this is so they wouldn't mix and make brown and it's faster! They ended up painting one primary color and just one secondary color for the stripes. The lesson took about four 45 minute classes to complete.
This project was so successful, I am doing it with third grade, as well. They could always use the extra color mixing practice and still need some fairly controlled lessons.
These second grade gumball machines will make an appearance in the halls of the county offices in a month!
I am an eighth year art teacher with degrees in Art Education, living and working in northern Florida. Each week, I teach over six hundred students in grades PreK through fifth. Here you will find what we are learning in the art classroom!