Unit Study: Color Theory

This summer, we seem to be falling into a routine of unit study. It really fits with our personalities anyway — we hear about something and then obsess about it and then suddenly you see it in everything you do and you investigate it until you’re sick of it and then move on to something else. Sometimes it’s just coincidence.

 I figured it would be fun to do a series of posts on some of our unit studies, such as color theory, fermentation (all of my postings about FODMAPs, making yogurt, making cream cheese, and so forth were part of that little obsession), and aliens. Yes, we did a unit study of aliens. Just wait, I’ll document that one too. 😉

So for Color Theory, we did a number of things.

First I introduced the idea with a neat poster. I just did a Google image search and chose this one because I liked that it showed many concepts that I wanted to cover: primary, secondary and tertiary colors; tints and shades; CMYK vs RGB; cold vs warm colors; color relationships; and cultural color meanings.

Then I drew a series of pictures of fish and birds and things with colors we chose, trying out analogous, complementary, monochromatic, and triad color groups. I have no picture of these, as they were destroyed by the baby.

Then we cut up strips of construction paper and grouped them in similar ways.

After that, the kids used the My Little Pony Creator to make different ponies using their new color theory knowledge. They were quite happy with their results, and I think they realized that they now had a better idea of why some colors looked better together than others.

Then I found an old box of crayons. The baby helped me peel the papers off of them and all three kids and I broke them up and mixed together our favorites, put them in muffin cups, and melted them down (200 degrees for about 20 minutes) to make new crayons. (Note: I still got wax on my muffin tin and it’s horrible to clean up).

First Try, before:

First try, after (flipped around):

Second try, some kids noticed they didn’t like the more mixed up colors:

They’re pretty fun to draw with. You never quite know what’s going to happen!

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