Friday, November 7, 2014

Color: Mixing it Up!

Mixing colors whether they be primary into secondary or mixing colors that are not in the rainbow-it needs to be fun!
One of the ways I motivate my students is with literature. First I show my sample, then I read them a book and then I demonstrate mixing the color and model the lesson. I usually start with mixing orange and making pumpkins.The books I've used are Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams.
 This lesson is for kindergarten and takes 2 class sessions. The first session is mixing up the color orange and the second week is for turning the pumpkins into scarecrows.  I know there are different philosophies out there about tracers, my opinion is, at this age it is important for them to feel successful. 
There was one year I decided to mix all the secondary colors in one lesson. Sorry the purple didn't photograph better. This took 3 classes and they added details from the How to Draw 101 Monsters book.

Mixing up purple was fun, we made chameleons. Books that can be used are The Mixed Up Chameleon by Eric Carle, Chameleon's Colors by Chisato Tashiro, Chameleon's Crazy Colors by Nicola Grant & Michael Terry. I did step by step directions using shapes to draw the chameleon. It was later in the school year and I don't always use tracers!

Did frogs for the color green. Don't have any favorites books for this one, just grabbed something from the library.
 My new favorite mixing up green lesson that I came up with recently and did with kindergarten and first grade, was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. Read the book Froggy Builds a Tree House by Jonathan London. Students traced their hand, mixed green and painted the leaves of the tree. Then they added red to the green to get brown to paint the bark of the tree. The following week they added texture and details using scrap paper.
A couple of other mixing brown lessons have included monkeys and gingerbread people.

What lessons do you use with your students when teaching colors and mixing it up? 
Thanks for reading!


  1. Nice! I like your idea of framing the picture with colorful strips.