Warm and Cool Collage

The very first color theory lesson that students as young as 1st grade can learn is which colors are considered “warm” and which are “cool”. Seeking examples in magazines and using repetition helps store these two categories to memory.
1. I used my computer and printer to make sheets with windows and outlined words, but this could be done by hand and and xeroxed as well. I folded an 11" x 17" paper, cut two 4" x 5.5" windows and wrote “cool” and “warm” just below them. I cut out the windows for the young students with an xacto knife. It helps to trace each window to the inside of the paper so that the students know how big of an area they need to cover with their collage.
2. Give each student a prepared folded sheet, several magazines, scissors and glue stick. Show them an example of warm colors (think of the sun) red, orange and yellow, and then cool colors (like the ocean) blue, green and purple. They are to look for swatches of each and glue them into the appropriate rectangle, overlapping them as they go. Once both rectangles are filled, the top can be closed down and taped together if desired. Having a clean window frame around the collage helps for students to see how the colors have a cohesive look to them when assembled as a group.
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