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Lesson Plans


Color Wheel Question

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Stubby4B
Mon, 1 Sep 1997 15:49:51 -0400 (EDT)

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In a message dated 97-09-01 07:00:34 EDT, you write:

<<Some of the
teachers are insisting that when you teach the color wheel that yellow HAS TO
be on the top. I personally thought that since it is a 'wheel' that any
color could be on the top, as long as the order was correct. Can you set me
straight, or give me more information to support the more flexible
approach?>>

Gee, I always put yellow at the top as a sort of mnemonic, since the sun is
high up, and it's easier for me to remember it that way. But I've, like you,
always seen it as a wheel, hence it's able to be viewed from all angles.

<<I would like to hear anyone's ideas about how thay approach teaching the
colorwheel to elementary students.>>

Well, the best lesson I ever did (and you can borrow this, but don't anyone
dare write it up and submit it to Arts & Activities, because I'm going to!!!
:-) involved making a giant color wheel with only Red, Yellow, and Blue on
it. I piled cubes of red, yellow and blue play-doh on their associated
spots. I divide the class into three groups (they even get labels for their
shirts that say Red, Yellow, or Blue) and each kid takes TWO cubes of their
respective color. They then circulate around the class and introduce
themselves to each other "Hi, I'm Red!" "Hi, I'm Yellow!", exchange one
cube, and blend. When they return to the color wheel, they put their
newly-discovered color halfway between, for example, Red and Yellow. For
closure, pick some kids out, ask who they traded with, and what they came up
with. It's a fabulous lesson, and the kids (I did it with K-3) really loved
it. If there is time, they can create stuff out of the clay - orange
carrots, green apples, etc. As a side note, Play-doh works best - I tried
making my own once, and the colors don't blend as well.

I also, for this lesson, arrive at school with my face painted in a pie chart
of Red, Yellow, and Blue. Kids go nuts. But they'll always remember their
primary colors. To tell you the truth, I painted my face again for my high
school kids when we studied color theory. They all remember!

hope this helps,

Duffy Franco
stubby4B


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