My 6th grade students recently learned about analogous colors. It sure is hard to teach color schemes to upper elementary students! I am looking forward to the days when my little 2nd and 3rd graders, who know their color schemes so well, will be 5th and 6th graders. My school did not have an art teacher before me due to budget cuts. Before the budget cuts, there was an art teacher, but if she taught color schemes, my students who had her don't remember them. And thus, I am stuck teaching my 5th and 6th graders things that they would remember and understand so easily if they were as eager and compliant as my younger students. But, by 5th and 6th grade, being the class clown receives more peer approval than being the teacher's pet.
For this lesson, I decided to let my students trace photos of zebras, rather than trying to draw one on their own. Many of my 6th graders are at an age where they have already decided that they are not good at drawing, so they don't want to try. I hope that this lesson will build confidence, showing them that they can create something beautiful if they try their best. I am firm believer that everyone can be an artist, so I like to show my students tips and tricks, as well as introduce them to a variety of art media so they can find their niche. Some students shine at drawing free-hand; others shine at coloring neatly; others shine at creative thinking, and others shine at manipulating 3D materials like clay.
After we traced our zebras, the students used colored pencils to color in the black stripes with analogous colors. I told them to put the colors in order, and to use anywhere from 3 to 5 colors. I explained that using too many colors would make the zebra look rainbow-colored, not analogous-colored. We also discussed how it was important to not skip any tertiary colors. A few students had to layer colors to make tertiary hues since some colored pencil sets do not includes all of the tertiary colors. Some of these turned out really beautiful. I'm looking forward to putting them on my bulletin board in the hallway soon!