Lesson Plan: Design: Warm Colors vs Cool colors

Warm Colors vs Cool Colors

MonaLesson Plan Submitted by: Teri Schlotman
Elementary art teacher at Villa Madonna Academy, Kentucky
Grades: 4, 5 and 6
Time period: 1.5 periods



Explain the difference between warm and cool colors. Discuss things like mood. Seasons you are most likely to see warm vs cool colors etc. I even have my kids close their eyes and do a walking tour through their own bedrooms and then they let me know if their rooms tend to be more warm or cool. We then to to their closets and visualize their clothes to looks for warm vs cool. They love doing this!


Now, tell them on this paper they are going to draw an outline of a shape. The outline only! Some examples that have worked out well are, a large maple leaf, a large cup and saucer etc. The shape should be large enough to fill most of the paper leaving the last row all the way around blank so it looks like a frame.


Once the shape has been drawn, tell them they now need to decide if the picture is to be warms colors and the background cool, or visa versa. Once that decision has been made, tell them, using magic markers, chose two warm colors and two cool colors.


Point out to them that each square has been divided diagonally.


Beginning with the background, say they are using cool colors purple and blue, color the left half of all the squares in the background blue, and the right half of all those squares purple. Do this for the entire background.


Now, it is time to do the shape. Let's say they chose yellow and orange. Color the left side of the square all orange and the right side all yellow.


NOTES: I have my kids color all the square halves with one color, then go back and color all the other halves with the other color. If they are worried about getting confused, they can go through with a pencil and label say with a check mark all the blues ahead of time and color those. They label all the purples etc.

The finished project is really dramatic with the contrasting warm and cool colors.



Each square then has a diagonal line running through it from top right to bottom left. I made the grid then just Xeroxed for the kids.


In progress work and finished example. Images submitted by Patti Caiola - fourth grade- Reynolds Elementary School in Toledo, OH




Understanding Color: An Introduction for Designers. - Understanding Color helps you connect the dots between your emotional, intuitive responses to color and the theories that explain them. Through authoritative, easy-to-follow instruction, you'll learn how to use color more comfortably, creatively, and effectively than ever before.


Color Workbook (3rd Edition). - A wide-ranging overview of color theory and design combined with student activities that reinforce color concepts through hands-on experience.


Colour Notes For Children. - A classroom guide for teachers with young children who are beginning to explore the world around them and who are learning about the part that light and colour plays in their world. The book includes suggestions for teaching activities that cover many aspects of the subject ranging from the origins of colour, its effect on subject and shape, the impacts of mixing colours, and the associations that different colours have for different children.



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