Art in the Open Learning Programme

The colour wheel above can be used to introduce the basics of Colour Theory. Provide each child with a blank Colour Wheel sheet. The template can be photocopied and enlarged to A3 size. It is best to use cartridge or sugar paper for this activity, as usual photocopier paper will not be thick enough to hold the paint and it will crinkle up. Sugar paper and thin cartridge paper can go through the photocopier!

Begin the discussion by talking about colour in the world. As a group you can try to list as many red things as you can, then as many green things etc. Are they all exactly the same colour? Show some examples of different types of reds for example, using real objects. Fruits and vegetables are usually very good for this. For example, look at the difference in red between a red tomato and a red pepper.

Next give every pupil a blank colour wheel and begin painting. Fill in all of the primary colours first. Then each child can add the secondary colours. It is best if pupils can have their own palette for colour mixing- if this cannot be provided then thick paper can be used to mix colours on.

Once pupils have mixed their secondary colours the rest of the session can be spent mixing up their own colours.

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Colour mixing activity by a Year 4 pupil

How many different colours can you make?

Ask pupils to draw some lines on to their paper that reach from one side to the other. These can be wiggly or straight. The lines should cross and should start to form shapes on their paper.

Once the shapes have been drawn pupils can fill the shapes in with as many different colours as they can.

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