1st Grade Line Designs [Color Theory]

Well, my 1st graders spent the a couple days learning/relearning how to paint, or at least the basics of it.  We started off with a great review of Color Theory and drew some shapes.  We talked about how we see these shapes all around us so it is good to practice them.

After that we painted the shapes the Primary Colors.  We talked about how this was special because primary colors aren’t created – but yet they create a lot of other colors.  The painting? Well this was difficult for both the students and myself because we were very much trying to avoid mixing the primaries together to create secondaries.  Secondaries would come later.  A few students managed to make a pre-mature green, but most were able to practice and be somewhat successful cleaning the brush between colors.

Once our paintings dried, we returned to them and reviewed Primary colors.  When I asked students what three colors were left from the rainbow, they correctly answered Orange, Green, and Violet.  I explained that these are secondary colors, second in line to the primary.  Since we had already practiced painting and shapes, I decided to make a little contrast to that part of the work by doing this next step in crayon.

Students were asked to describe all types of line.  The most important? A scribble.  We talked about how scribbles were always very fast and very messy.  So we agreed that if we were going quickly, it was probably scribble and it’s important to slow down.  This is key – because with this in mind, students came up with some VERY thoughtful designs, some that even reminded me of Zentangles.  Even so, they draw as many lines as they want using secondary colored crayons.  To help our primary shapes stand out, we didn’t draw on top of the paint.

This is a very introductory lesson and some might even say it seems so simple but honestly, it was a great learning experience.  We used shapes and lines to define both our shapes and our color choices and this really re-emphasized what the kids were learning. I was so impressed when students came back using the vocabulary of primary and secondary.


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