A while back my 1st graders learned allllll about pumpkins. We even did a very simple step by step drawing to make our own pumpkins out of ovals and the letter “C”. You can find that here.
Well, after a week of professional development out of the state, I finally came back and we could move onto the next step – PAINTING! Kids love painting, don’t they? Well, with elementary, I do a lot of damage control by planning ahead. I try to line up projects so that different grades aren’t painting at the same time. This lets me set some things in the sink to be cleaned up during my prep. Other days, I have projects so similar, I have the painting on the same day so things can be reused.
For this project, I lined the tables with newspaper after my morning classes and set up the paint. Anytime I paint, the paint and water stays on a small tray (Tupperware lid) and cannot be taken off. This way, if anything spills, it’s only a matter of cleaning up the tray – not all the wet or ruined newspaper. It also means that water and paint won’t run into any artwork – total time saver, let me tell you!
Each table had two cups of yellow paint and one cup of red paint. No water since we were only mixing color, not cleaning to get new color. Instructions were simple – dip your paint brush in the red and then dip it in yellow – don’t swirl it around. I ask the students what color I will make and we have learned it will be ORANGE (My favorite)! We then take the paint brush over to our pumpkin. Our goal is to stay inside the line and paint up and down the ovals of the pumpkin.
When we first start painting, we find a very deep and rich orange, almost red. So I tell my students they can redip their paintbrush in the yellow and come back to the paper – this will make it more orange. From then on, we simply dip into the yellow and are amazed at the variety of oranges we get in our pumpkin. We continue this from the left to right of our pumpkin, going back and adding more yellow if needed.
This is so simple for kids and they really see the paint mix together before their eyes. It also involves a lot less of a clean up since I can just have a set of yellow ready for the next class of 1st graders, set everything by the sink and clean up later. Eventually we will get in the routine of cleaning as students but for now, I wanted them to get into the color mixing. With a 32 minute class, this was the perfect amount of time to review painting basics, talk about steps, finish our pumpkins, and clean up the table.
Check it out! Love the vibrancy of orange!