A super simple lesson on Primary and Secondary colours.
I love this lesson because it's practical and simple and the kids love it too. It can be easily expanded in any way you feel. I have used simple colour wheels after, almost like a check in, recapping on what Primary colours mixed together make what Secondary colours, asking the kids, and getting the kids to do colour sums on the whiteboard, or a big bit of paper stuck on the wall if no whiteboard in room, to see if they have understood.
1.Get three clear plastic cups - put a little bit of red food colouring in one, yellow in another and blue in the other. Have three empty plastic cups ready as well - you'll need them for mixing. I would suggest doing this all in front of the kids, as they totally love seeing what happens, rather than having it set up before hand.
2. Top them up with water.
3. Discuss and talk about the primary colours - really up to you what you do here.
4. Start to introduce, share and discuss about Secondary Colours ( green, orange, purple) without giving anything away, some of this kids may have already mentioned this - again up to you what you feel to do here.
5. Then comes the fun part, I ask the kids ' okay so what do we get if we mix red and yellow together ( or any of the other two primary colours together) then pour a little of each colour into an empty plastic cup, and hey presto you should have orange. The kids love seeing the colours mixing. So do I.
A top tip is pour the lighter colours in first - otherwise you could end up with a suer dark mix, the same when painting. It takes less red to make orange if yellow is used first.
6. Next step, let the kids do it themselves, I tend to do it in table groups.
7. Have fun, enjoy and experiment.
Gyl works as an art and design teacher with primary school children. Having previously taught art and design at high school, worked at the Venice Bienalle, and as an arts lecturer at further education college. She also enjoys making her own work.