• fine motor
• aesthetic development
• large piece of white paper
• mixtures of tempera paint in different hues, focusing on different shades of one specific color
• plastic tray
• containers of water to clean brushes
• paint brushes
Introduce the concept of color variation to children. Hold up a piece of blue construction paper or a blue object and ask the group to name the color. Next, ask everyone wearing blue to stand. Suggest children stand side by side so that everyone can notice the different shades of the color blue. Choose another color and repeat the activity.
Hang up a sheet of white paper. Bring over a tray of pre-mixed paints in a variety of hues of one color. Invite children to apply the different colors to the paper. Ask them to describe what they see.
Explain that they will work in small groups to create paintings using variations of one color. Make sure that there is adequate workspace.
Extend the activity over several days so that children can use different shades of colors and create more paintings.
Ask them to choose several paintings to exhibit. Mount them on larger sheets of construction paper to frame the work.
Remember: It’s good to have a relaxed environment while creating art. Play some soft music to set the tone for a calmer environment.
Color Collage. Send home paper and a note suggesting that parents help their child create a collage of pictures from magazines that are different shades of the same color.
Curriculum Connection: SCIENCE
Mixing Colors. Set out paper, one color of tempera paint, white paint, brushes, paper plates or wax paper for mixing paint, and containers of water to rinse paint brushes. Ask children to make different shades of one color, adding different amounts of white to the color. Introduce another color and suggest they create more color mixtures. Conclude with a language experience chart to document the investigation.
Marianthe’s Story: Painted Words
(Greenwillow Books, 1998; $17)
by Ellen Stoll Walsh
(Harcourt, 1995; $6)
by Susan Canizares and Betsey Chessen
(Scholastic, 1998; $3)