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All Our Favorite Ways to Teach Color Theory in One Place!

Color is one of those concepts that continuously amazes and amuses us. We teach it throughout our art courses and programs. We want our students to have a better knowledge of the world around them as it relates to color. We also want them to use color intelligently in their artwork.

Therefore, I’ve rounded up our favorite ways to teach and explore color theory all in one place! Peruse, pick, choose, and add your own in the comments below!

Teaching Tools and DIY Resources

Tools

Color Wheel Canvases
What’s better than art room decor that is multi-functional? Why not do a DIY project for your art room that doubles as a learning tool?

Kolormondo Color Globe
This color globe is a hands-on way to visualize color as it displays and organizes hue, saturation, and brightness all at the same time. Putting it together piece-by-piece helps show the ways in which colors interact with one another.

Magnetic Color Wheel
With this tool, students can interact with and manipulate the color wheel. Utilizing the magnets on the backs of the circles, they can sort colors into color families and rearrange the wheel as necessary right on the whiteboard!


These ideas are a great place to start. However, to teach color theory effectively, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of color to begin with. Be sure to check out the Diving Deep into Color Theory and Exploring Color Theory through Watercolor Learning Packs to learn the best way to bring these concepts to your students!


Activities and Games

Activities and Games

Color Experiments
Here are 3 color mixing activities that not only will inspire your students but will get you thinking outside the box regarding teaching color theory.

Color Theory Getting-To-Know-You
In this activity, students use the color wheel to tell about themselves and their classmates. As an added bonus, this project makes Common Core connections in both Math (shapes, fractions) and English/Language Arts (writing, reading).

Fresh Ideas for Teaching Color
Here are 3 successful techniques for engaging students as you teach color.

A New Way to Introduce the Color Wheel
Use sentence starters to teach about the color wheel in this fun peer activity!

Color Sort Game
Need a creative review of the color families? Check out this quick, easy-to-make game!

Color Match Game
If you’re also facing the challenge of keeping young students engaged, then you might want to make a set of “Color Match” cards for your room!

Monochromatic Self-Portraits
Getting kids to make art on the first day is so much more fun for everyone and can be a much more memorable way to teach art studio habits and procedures. You could also use this as a review activity after a school break!

 Technology and Apps

Apps

App Inspired by Josef Albers
Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is brought to life with this interactive app, the likes of which Albers could have never imagined.

3 Color Explorations Apps – Blendamaze, Harmony, and Blendoku
A couple of years ago, this article shared some incredible color theory apps. One of those apps, Blendamaze by Borderleap just released an update, and it’s now better than ever! My students LOVE playing this game. The game mimics a traditional, wooden labyrinth game, but mixes in color theory. Playing Blendmaze allows my students to have fun, problem-solve, and have a friendly competition, all while learning.  It’s fantastic! You can see how it works below.

Color in Motion Site
Check out “The Movies” portion of the site. The kids love to sit back and watch each color come to life in an animated way.

Color Videos

Videos

OK GO – Three Primary Colors (More OK GO Videos)
This favorite works equally well for elementary and high school students.

The Colors Song
A unicorn and a robot make learning colors fun for young students in this catchy song.

The Effect of Color
A short and sweet look at color and emotion. This one requires a teacher review and is best for older students.

AOE’s FLIPPED Color Wheel Lesson
We’ve flipped a color wheel lesson for you! Check it out!

DVD: Getting to Know Color in Art
You may want to consider adding this DVD to your collection.

Lessons

Lessons

K-2

 

3-5

  

Middle School & High School

Hopefully, you’ve gotten some fresh ideas about introducing color theory to your students of all ages! Let us know how they go and add other ideas below in the comments!

If you’re looking for even more color theory, check out the fascinating episode How Color Works from the podcast Stuff You Should Know.

What are your favorite ways to teach and review color theory?

What are your favorite color theory projects?

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

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Alecia is an elementary art teacher in central Iowa who is passionate about teaching and reaching her students with an innovative and meaningful arts education.

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