Friday, February 7, 2014

5th Grade: 3-D Color Wheel Tutorial

When I left on my maternity leave, my 5th graders were still working on their complementary colored checker boards.  Unfortunately, they took them home while I was gone so I don't have any pictures of what their finished products looked like.  (If you didn't see last year's checkerboards, here's the link to those posts...)  Currently, my 5th graders are creating 3-D color wheels.  If you've been following me for a while, hopefully you remember that I decided my curriculum for 5th grade would concentrate entirely on color theory.  This is a project I did my first two years of teaching with 6th grade (before I started blogging) but did not do last year.  I thought it would be fun to bring it back and move it down to 5th grade where it seemed more appropriate to my curriculum.

Now, this is not something that I came up with on my own.  I saw it in an art magazine publication but for the life of me, cannot remember which one.  I tried to do a search to find it before I blogged this post, but could not.  What I will share, however, is a link to a rubric for this project that I did find in my search, as it is what I am using to model my rubric after for this project.  So, if anyone happens to know or find the publication where this comes from, please let me know so I can link back to it!  I want to say it was from an older publication of Arts & Activities, but I'm not sure...

Ok, here goes.  For this project, each student needs four paper plates.  First, you need to fold all four paper plates in sixths.  

Next I have the students label each plate what colors they should be painted and where.  Folding and labeling the plates usually takes one whole class period.
Front                  Back
Blue    ~     Blue green / Blue Violet
Red Violet     ~      Violet / Red
Orange     ~     Red orange / Yellow orange
Yellow green     ~     Yellow / Green

Next we take two class periods to paint these.  At this point, I still have not found a clean, tidy way to do this, nor a way that prevents wasting paint.  I've done this two ways...in the past, we have painted one side of each plate on one day, and painted the other side the second day.  This time around, I tried to waste paint less by having the students start with one color, say blue.  Then we mixed green, and finally blue green all in the same paint cup.  We cleaned out the cups and brushes and started over with yellow, than yellow-orange, then orange, then red-orange, and so on and so forth.  The only problem with this method is that you end up having to paint directly on the back side of the wet plates, sometimes causing you to get other colors on your plates.  I'm thinking next time, I may set up stations at each table for students to independently move around to.  (The only problem I would foresee with this is students not paying attention to their labeling and painting the plates wrong, but I suppose that would end up being part of their grade...being able to pay attention and such...)

Also, with regards to mixing paint, I tried to let the students mix their own paint, but TONS OF it was wasted because they wouldn't listen properly when we discussed using more yellow and red to make orange, more yellow than blue to make green, etc. etc.  I found that it was better to review how to mix each color with them and then I would squirt the paint into their cups for them to mix at their tables.

The fourth and final class is when we put these together.  First I have the students refold on their fold lines as the paint tends to stiffen the plates back up.  Then I show them how to make their plates into bow ties by pinching them together.  We clip them with paper clips.  In the past, I have used bobby pins, however that can get expensive, so this year we are just using metal paperclips.

Next comes the part where students are on their own.  They must figure out how to get their plates together in the correct color order.

Finally, before clipping the last plate on, I have students tie a big know on the end of a string and stick it in the middle of the plates before attaching the last one.  Now, I have something to hang them from.

And here is the finished product!  I can't wait to share the finished ones with you...I always hang them in my corner display case by my room and they always look so awesome and colorful. I never want to take them down!

I have one class who has all of their plates painted, and another who has one more painting day.  Hopefully I'll be sharing their end products in the next week or so.



14 comments:

  1. This 3D color wheel originally came from the magazine called Arts and Activites, Sept issue, 2010.

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    1. I am curious: did Arts and Activities specify an age target? I've tried searching online but this issue is not in their digital database.

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    2. Yes, it was for middle school. But I did the project a few years ago with 4th or 5th and it was incredible.

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  2. Nice article. I think it is useful and unique article. I love this kind
    of article and this kind of blog. I have enjoyed it very much. Thanks
    for your website.
    TLR Carbon wheels

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. I am having a difficult time getting the plates to hold together. They keep popping apart. Any suggestions?

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  5. I am also having problems getting the plates together I"m using a 9" plate. Any Suggestions????

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  6. First thing would be to make sure that the plates are folded into an even 6 pie shapes and that you are getting a nice, crisp bow tie. In the past, I actually have used bobby pins to put the plates together (they are longer), however I didn't have the extra cash at the time to buy more. Try using some bobby pins. The last plate is always the hardest to get connected...

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    1. Could you just staple the plate rather than paper clipping?

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  7. Just wanted to you let you know that I absolutely love this and am using it with the art club at my middle school. Thanks for the idea! I did borrow a couple of your photos but I gave you credit.

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  8. What kind of paint did you use? Tempera? Acrylic? Did stapling the plates together work?
    Thank you!

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  9. What a surprise to see this! I wrote the article that appeared in the Arts and Activities magazine several years ago. I am thrilled to see people using the project in their own classrooms! Thanks for sharing it! Ann DuBois

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