Making Personal Connections to the Color Wheel

Colors are fascinating. They have a wide range of uses for how we navigate the world. From street signage to the way products are marketed to us. They can be very personal, like the colors that we choose to dress ourselves in. Our interpretation of colors affect our decision making process which is why it’s important to be aware of how we understand and connect to colors.

With the students at Taggart Elementary I wanted to focus on just that. How do we relate to colors? After introducing and reviewing the basic color wheel, primary and secondary colors, I had the students focus on their favorite color. Everyone has a favorite color, so this was the perfect way to engage all of the students in various age groups.

Next, I asked students to think about the temperature of the color, is it warm or cool? Often the temperature of a color evokes a particular feeling for a person. We briefly discussed the negative and positive connotations of a color. I asked them to imagine how they would feel walking into certain rooms of just one color. Some students felt that a room that was entirely blue would be overwhelming and others thought it would be soothing.

 Furthering our inquiry I asked the younger students to use their favorite color to draw an object that is that color. For example, for yellow, a student could draw the sun. With the older students I had brought along paint chip cards that they could select their preferred color from. Then these students drew on the back and cut out a shape that they liked. One student drew and cut out their favorite animated character from Dragon Ball Z from an orange card. While another student cut out a bunch of hearts from a red card. 

This lesson not only helped students understand the fundamentals of the color wheel but allowed them to reflect on what colors meant to them. Emphasising personal connections is an integral part to teaching art. I’m happy with how ready the students were to engage in something new and challenging. I look forward to the rest of the lessons that I will be guiding them through during July.