Lesson 1: The Color Wheel

6th Grade Art




Time allotted for the lesson: This lesson is designed to be completed over the course of 1 45-minute class period.


Description: In this lesson, the learners will be introduced to the color wheel, color schemes, and color terminology.  The teacher will present a PowerPoint for students to view graphics and examples the concepts of color theory.  The students will ask questions and engage in discussions about the color wheel.  The students will view a video on color symbolism and develop ideas on how color meaning effects their lives.


State Curriculum Standards met in this lesson:

·       AR-06-02-04- VALUE Color Tints and Shades:  The students will identify tints and shades of one color as a monochromatic color scheme

·       AR-06-02-03- Color: C-CS -  Critical-Assessment at content standards. Student will understand color as an element of art.


Instructional Objectives:

  1.  Students will understand the concepts of Primary and Secondary Colors
  2.  Students will become familiar with warm and cool colors schemes
  3. Students will become familiar with Complementary colors
  4. Students will learn about color tints, tones, and shades
  5. Students will be introduced to the concept of color symbolism
  6. Students will generate ideas and examples of color meaning in their life


Instructional Procedures

Lesson Set: The teacher will use a PowerPoint with images to generate a discussion on the color wheel and how it is used by artists.


Techniques and activities:

1.     TTW begin the lesson by reviewing material the students already know about primary and secondary colors.

2.     TTW ask students what they know about color mixing and lead a discussion on the processes of additive color mixing and how to read the color wheel.

3.     TTW introduce the concept of warm and cool color schemes and complimentary colors

4.     TSW generate ideas on strategies for remembering color schemes and real life examples

5.     TTW introduce concepts of tint, tone, and shade and provide examples of the mixing process.

6.     TSW watch a video on color symbolism by Claudia Courtes

In small groups, TSW will discuss and generate 6 examples of color symbolism in their own lives


Lesson Closure: In small groups, the students will discuss and generate an example of color symbolism in their own lives for each of the 3 primary and secondary colors.


Adaptations: Students with special needs will have adaptations provided as described in their specific individualized education plan.  General accommodations include necessary seating for visual and hearing needs, information will be provided in visual and text form, and extra time or reinforcement will be provided for understanding.


Supplemental Activities: For an extension on this lesson students will work in their small groups to generate ideas about color symbolism for tertiary hues and tints. As a remediation, at the start of the each class the students will review key concepts and have an opportunity to ask questions.


Assessment/Evaluation: The teacher will use an informal summative and formative assessment. Through discussions, questioning, and observations of group discussions, the teacher will assess how well the students understand the lesson’s key concepts. With this assessment the teacher will make adjustment to lesson and provide for review of concepts with remain unclear.  The teacher will collect the list generated during the group work and evaluate students for time on task, quality of answers, and understanding of concepts.



Learner Products: The students will generate questioning and discussions on the topics of Color Theory. Through group work the students will create a list of examples of color symbolism as it applies to their lives.