Monday, September 6, 2010

Color Wheel Spinners

What could possibly be better than art? Art that SPINS!

4th grade did an amazing job creating their color wheel spinners! It was such an inspiring scene to witness twenty something kids spinning their color wheels at once, knowing they were experiencing color mixing, not being told what it was. They were amazed at how they could 'trick' their eyes into seeing colors that weren't there.

We started off reviewing color theory. In fourth grade, they already know about primary and secondary colors, but I think it's important to touch on it again before we move on to tougher concepts involving color later in the year.

We then talked about optical illusions. I showed them works by Bridget Riley to give examples of how something two-dimensional can appear to be moving. We talked about why an artist would want their art to look like it's moving. One student said that it's like the person looking at the art is part of the art. I LOVE how much I learn from the kiddos!

Using red, yellow and blue markers, the students started coloring in a worksheet using a code to know which color goes where. Usually, I don't like giving such prescribed projects, but the placement of the colors is crucial to see the secondary colors form. To give them creative freedom, I had them design the back of the spinner( I told the kids they are color scientists and that they are experimenting to see what happens with their designs when they spin it).

After the worksheets are completed, the students cut out the circles and traced it onto a piece of light cardboard(make sure it's light enough for the kids to cut, or have them pre-cut). They then pasted the designs onto the cardboard and poked two holes in the center of the circle( I made two little circles on the worksheet, so students would know where to make the holes). The students cut a piece of string, the length of their arm-span, and thread it through the two holes. They tied the two ends together so that it made a loop. Then they placed the circle in the center of the string, and started winding.

It takes a little bit of practice to get the spinning technique down. It's important that the circle is centered between the pieces of string and that the circle stays vertical while you spin it. Make sure to give the kiddos plenty of time to spin away!

Check out the spinning in action!

When kids get to experience learning, it sticks(and spins!)


M. Hill said...

hey :) this is such an awesome idea! i wish you had been my art teacher when i was in elem. school!

Erica said...

Cool! I was thinking about thaumotropes and wondering if it would work with primary colors! It does!!!! When the students put two primaries on one side did it work as well as the 3 primaries???

therese english perdue said...

The design I gave to the kids works really well because all of the three primary colors overlap so that when you spin it, it makes all three secondary colors. But, I think it's really interesting to play with different colors and designs! (The kids were really into the hypnotizing designs- hehe!) That's why I had them do one side with my design and the other with their creation- best of both worlds! :)

Erica said...

Cool thanks!