Primary and Secondary Color Fish

1st Grade Color Theory Fish

My first graders had a great time learning about the three primary colors and how to mix them to create secondary colors. I love teaching color mixing at this age because it is still magic to them. So many enthusiastic oohhs and ahhs while the kiddos mixed their paints.

I started by showing my favorite color theory video Roy G. Biv. I never get tired of listening to this song, which is a good thing because I showed it to about 36 classes.

Next I used this slide show that I made for all of my classes for my color theory unit:

Another great lesson inspired by Deep Space Sparkle. First the students traced fish body shapes I cut out of poster board. My first class I didn’t use tracers and they ha a really hard time getting three big and three little fish to fit on their paper. The point of this lesson is color mixing, not drawing. They added their own fish tales and fins though.

When it came time to painting I gave the students only primary colors. We had a long talk about how to best use a paint brush. I told them that the brush is like a ballerina dancer, it likes to dance across the page on its tiptoes, not scrub across the page on its bottom.  They first painted the big fish each primary and then the little fish each secondary. I was a little worried about not having enough paper to last the year so I had the students do this on 9X12 paper but if I do it again I will make sure to use large paper because some of the firsties had a hard time painting the blue sea in between the fish.


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