I had students pair up so they could work together mixing one Primary and one Secondary color. They each painted a paper and added some line design on it using a variety of scraping tools and the back of their paintbrushes. The goal was for each pair to make all six Intermediate (Tertiary) colors. Our drying racks quickly filled up!
I instructed students to put their names on the back of each paper before they started or they would not be getting their painted papers back. I'm sure you are not surprised to hear that I had a whole pile of no names. They were just randomly distributed without too many groans. Honestly, the kids had so much fun creating the papers that they didn't care if they got the one they made back or not.
The next class, we looked at the work of Grant Wood. They worked in groups to discuss what they saw in his paintings. We discussed shapes, colors, patterns, and anything else they saw. We talked about how he was a Regionalist artist and what that meant. We had just enough time before class ended to pass out our painted papers and have students choose whatever color of construction paper they would like to use for the sky of a landscape.
Theresa Gillespie spent over 20 years teaching Art in the Moline School District in Illinois. She has a BA degree in Art Education and a MEd degree in Education & Technology. She also is a graduate level instructor for The Art of Education