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Create Your Own Color Wheel & Learn Color Mixing with Tempera Grades 1-5

Teach Kids Art
Grade Levels
1st - 5th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
18 pages
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Teach Kids Art


(UPDATED 8/4/2020) Why purchase a variety of paint colors when all you need is three? Students can learn to mix their own colors for more variety and more interesting results.

Making a color wheel teaches students how to mix the colors they want while learning the basics of color theory. Students feel empowered when they learn to mix a wide range of vibrant colors using only red, yellow, and blue!

This 16-page lesson includes:

  • the basics of color theory & important color vocabulary
  • instructions for using the 3 primary colors to mix your own secondary, intermediate, and tertiary colors
  • printable color wheel templates for grades 1-2 (with primary, secondary, and tertiary colors) and grades 3 -5 (with primary, secondary, tertiary, and intermediate colors) - in both English and Spanish!
  • how to use color schemes like analogous colors, warm and cool colors, and monochromatic colors to achieve different effects
  • how to create a range of values with tints and shades
  • how complementary colors can be used to draw attention to an area of a painting or tone down colors that are too bright
  • a fun "bonus" scratch art project that students will LOVE doing when they finish making their color wheels

I also share all my best tempera tips! You'll learn how to:

  • choose quality tempera paint (it's not determined by price!)
  • mix colors without wasting paint
  • help students develop good painting habits like no-mess brush rinsing
  • use your completed color wheel as a handy reference guide for future paintings
  • and so much more!

No art experience is necessary to teach this lesson. I tell you everything you need to know!

All you'll need is:

  • tempera paint (red, yellow, and blue)
  • paper plates
  • paintbrush
  • water
  • paper towel

Once your students learn the basics of color mixing and color theory, they can apply this new skill to many other art mediums and design projects!


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Cheryl Trowbridge is the founder of Teach Kids Art, a website for anyone who wants to share the JOY of ART with the kids in their life! Visit www.TeachKidsArt.net for more K-8 Art lesson plans, tips, and inspiration. And while you’re there, sign up for my email list to receive my “Tip of the Week” plus my FREE download: “5 Fun Art Activities Kids Can do with a Pencil & Paper”. 

Total Pages
18 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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