Submitted by Margie M. Heisser, Cumberland County

Lesson Title:
The Element of Color

Grade Level or Course:
Eight Grade

Time Allotment:
Two (45-minute) lessons for color theory and comprehension

Three (45-minute) lessons for performances and evaluation

Targeted Goals and Objectives from the 2000 North Carolina Arts Education Standard Course of Study and Grade Level Competencies, K-12:

2.02 Apply materials such that their unique properties and potential impact the artistic solution.
2.04 Determine an original solution through expressive media technique.
3.02 Develop original solutions that effectively apply the elements of art in an aesthetic composition.
4.04 Invent original and personal imagery to convey ideas that are personal and have meaning.
4.05 Develop personal imagery and style.
5.06 Explain the impact of current culture on your personal style, attitude and techniques.
6.03 Interpret how a given work of art expresses the uniqueness of the individual artist.
6.05 Critique artwork evaluating purpose, tone and style in an oral or written expression.
7.01 Interpret and analyze connections, similarities and differences between the visual arts and other disciplines.

Targeted Goals and Objectives from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and Grade
Level Competencies, K-12
for other content areas.

Drama: The students can create a play or skit depicting the dramatic moods of color.

Music: The students can write lyrics or create "rap" songs to identify the variations of color.

English/ language arts: The students can create short stories (fiction) about the color hues or creative writings of poetry.

Math: To learn techniques & formulas with the mixing of paints.


Lesson Objective(s):

To expand the study on the element of color, students will create color wheels designed with a specific geometric shape or creative form. The students will concentrate upon creative writing skills; whereas to create an original poem with a select color hue that defines his/ her personality or style. The students will use a rubric for self/group evaluation. Each creative composition will be presented in class. Students will have the opportunity to critique another student's composition. The final evaluation within the classroom consists of video taping expressive gestures of each student and critiquing (open session) the video.

Materials/Equipment Needed:

White drawing paper (12 x 18), pencils, 12 inch ruler, protractor/compass, tempera paints, water containers, mixing lids, paper towels, notebook paper (writing purposes), video/camcorder and television set, color wheel (s) poster charts and textbooks (reference).

Lesson Procedure:

Lesson 1 (45 minutes)

Inform the students that they will reacquaint and enhance their skills with color theory and comprehension. The knowledge and application of word usage/vocabulary will also enable the performance of visual perception. Each student will create an original geometric/ free-form design of a color wheel. The remainder of class time will focus upon their drawing skills and creative abilities.

Lesson 2 (45 minutes)

  1. The students will carefully observe the color wheel chart (s) and textbooks as a guide for specific color hues of the spectrum. Note the mathematical number of colors that consist of the spectrum.

  2. Each student will use the basic Primary Colors (Yellow, Red and Blue) and mix the paints to get the basic Secondary and Intermediate Colors. Experimentation, sampling and application of the paint add to the mystery and beauty of exploring the color.

  3. Students will paint their color wheels. Note the dimensional size of shapes to decide the specific brushes to use.

Lesson 3 (45 minutes)

  1. Students select a specific or favorite color (of the spectrum) that defines his/her personality or style. Concentrate upon the color to begin to gather thoughts or expressive ideas about the color. Make notes or important points about the color. Observe other resources or one's environment to capture a greater feel for the color.

  2. Began to compose the creative writing in poetic form. The poem may or may not rhyme. Each student's composition is to consist of approximately a paragraph (5 lines), a one-half page or a one-page composition. Again, this depends upon the students' interpersonal expression with the color.

Lesson 4 (45 minutes)

Each student will present his/her composition in class. The student(s) will recite short poems and become more familiar with lengthy poems to promote eye contact with the audience. Gestures and expressive movements are strongly encouraged to enhance the poems. Note: Students are to rehearse in/outside the classroom before the final presentation of each composition. Video taping will be done during this lesson.

Lesson 5 (45 minutes)

  1. The class will view the video.

  2. In a group of two, an exchange of written poems will be shared for verbal perceptions. Each student within the group will verbally write his/her perception and write on paper. A rubric will be used to critique each composition within the group.

  3. As a class, an open session using PAM (Praise, Ask questions, Make Suggestions)

This will encourage them to use constructive criticism.


Individual and group compositions: Students will self and group assess (group of two and collective group) using a rubric designed by the students and the teacher. The rubric will include the student's ability to critique a composition: fairly, open-mindedly and utmost respect for the composer of the creative writing.

Individual students: The teacher will assess each student using a rubric where guidelines will motivate enthusiasm for their compositions and performances. Assessment Type: Selected Responses, Written Responses, Performance, Conversations and Observations.

Special Considerations:

The students may consider to greater enhance their compositions with the use of Instrumental, background music, visual pictographs, posters, banners, fabric colors, etc. Options are based upon the student's creativity to dramatically enhance the visual perception of the color. This lesson may extend upon the five (5) class sessions depending upon the class size, and performances of the painting and writing lessons.


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