Colour Wheel Umbrellas

Fall can be a very rainy time in Vancouver, and about a month ago, I started seeing these huge, vibrantly coloured umbrellas being toted all around town. Passing by the Vancouver Art Gallery one day a couple of weeks ago, I saw them displayed in the gallery shop window. These umbrellas inspired this colour mixing lesson with my Grade 2s, who had just finished their colour wheel pizzas.

To begin, I did a directed drawing of an umbrella with my students. I showed them how to draw the little "hill" for the top of the umbrella, cut it down the middle, and then add 2 symmetrical sloping lines down on either side. Then I had students "jump" between the umbrella posts to create the characteristic umbrella edges. Students were then instructed to draw a j-shaped handle, and fill up the space around the umbrella with large raindrops.

After outlining their pencil drawings with Sharpie, I showed how to mix the primary colours to make secondary colours. Even though most students had some experience with mixing colours, that didn't stop all of the "oohs and ahhhs" when blue and red turned into purple. Students got to work painting their colours, and when they were done, they mixed white and black to create a grey and stormy looking background on another piece of paper. This first part took about 2 full blocks of class (1 hour and 40 minutes).

The next class (when everything was all dry), I had students cut out cloud shapes from grey construction paper and glue them onto their grey painted background. Then they cut out their umbrellas and raindrops and glued those onto the background as well.

Cutting and pasting up a storm!


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