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The Color Wheel- An Art Lesson Plan

Learning about the color wheel is a "colorful" way to teach Art to your homeschooler! Here is an easy lesson plan for you to try today.

Objective: To teach your homeschooler about the spectrum of the color wheel and definitions for the related vocabulary words.


1. Begin by discussing and exemplifying the attributes of a color wheel. Older children can use the vocabulary words below in a sentence, or demonstrate knowledge of them by writing the word and illustrating the corresponding picture. Younger children can discuss the words, as well as show examples of the words through pictures. Here is a list of vocabulary words:

primary colors- red, blue, and yellow. These cannot be mixed from other colors.

secondary colors- orange, green and violet. These are mixed by blending two primary colors. Example: Red and yellow make orange.

tertiary colors- these colors are mixed from an adjacent primary and secondary colors. Example: reddish-orange and blueish-green.

complementary colors- these colors are opposite colors on the color wheel, and they contrast each other. A primary color is always complemented by a secondary color that is the mixture of the other two primary colors. On the color wheel complementary colors are directly across from one another, like red and green.

analogous colors- these colors are next to each other on the color wheel, and have a color in common. Example: blue, violet and red are all analogous because combining red and blue makes violet.

2. Follow your vocabulary and discussion by looking at a color wheel either in an art reference guide, like "How to Teach Art to Children, Grades 1-6" by
Joy Evans or online, like at "A Lifetime of Color". Encourage your child to point out the examples of primary colors and complementary colors.

3. The third activity involves your child creating his or her own color wheel, using paint, crayons, markers or oil pastels. This can even be a poster project to hang in your homeschool room as a reference for future art lessons!

Conclusion: Review the vocabulary and concept of the color wheel with your child. The assessment will be your child's ability to recreate the color wheel and explain it to a family member or friend.


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