Learning the Color Wheel

Project Title: Learning the Color Wheel
Description: Two projects a student could complete for the teacher to measure skill level and color wheel knowledge
Author: Dayna Ensminger
Grade level or Target Age Range: Elementary Level, ages 5+


Historical Art Examples or References: –
Vocabulary: Color Wheel, rainbow, circle, order
Materials: White paper, construction paper squares in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, scissors, pencils, erasers, glue


1. Distribute all materials to each student.

2. Ask the students to write their name and age on the white paper.

3. Ask the students to raise their hands if they’ve ever heard of the “color wheel.” Students who did should put a check mark next to their names (teacher can also go around and do this.)

4. Students will be asked to use their scissors to cut the squares into circles. They should do this for all 6 colors.

5. Students should arrange their cut construction paper circles into a color wheel. Younger students may opt to put them in rainbow order.

6. Teacher will walk around and mark which students have the colors in the correct order, which students have only 1-2 colors misplaced, which students have 3 or more colors misplaced, etc.

7. Teacher will have group discussion on the color wheel/rainbow order. Students should arrange their color wheels correctly to reflect they have fixed their mistakes.

8. Students will glue down their color wheel and turn it in to the teacher.

9. Teacher will mark students’ cutting ability and will use students’ ages to assist with grading.


Historical Art Examples or References: Color wheel
Vocabulary: Color Wheel, rainbow, circle, order
Materials: Pre-made test paper with two circles and 6 slices on each labeled #1 and #2, pencils, crayons


1. Take a survey and ask students if they know about the color wheel.

2. Ask students to write their names and ages on the pre-made test papers with a pencil.

3. Students will be asked to locate the first wheel on their paper and count how many ‘slices’ there are. (6)

4. Using crayons, students should color in the first wheel in color wheel order as best as they can.

5. When finished, students are asked to wait until the rest of the class is complete so everyone can learn the color wheel together.

6. Teacher shows students a correct color wheel and asks the class to verbally say each color in order, starting with Red.

7. Students are asked to color in the second wheel correctly. Students will be reminded that it’s OK if they did not start with red, and it doesn’t matter where the colors are, just the specific order is important. It’s a wheel, it turns and goes around and around!

8. This test will allow the teacher to asses the students’ prior knowledge with the color wheel and compare it to their ability to follow directions and complete a correct color wheel on the second color wheel.


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