Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Geometric Overlapping Shapes

This is a lesson I found during the summer on a great blog, which I unfortunately can't relocate. Baack in the summer when I was planning, I was completely unaware that I would later be blogging the projects, and thus need to source them. If anyone knows where this project came from, please let me know (it was a GREAT blog, too!) UPDATE: The creator of this lesson found me! The original post is located here.

This is a great project to leave for a supply teacher, as it usually only takes an hour, so I will outline the steps.

Materials required:
  • Variety of geometric tracers
  • Rulers
  • Sharpies
  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paints
  • Sample of a color wheel (I drew one on the board)
 Before starting:

 Do a small lesson explaining what analogous colors are. Essentially, two colors are analogous (similar) if they are next to each other on the color wheel. For the purpose of this activity, we used the secondary color wheel, which has red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Any combinations of two colors side by side work perfectly.

1. Students trace a variety of geometric shapes all over the page, overlapping other shapes, and running off the edges. Don't do TOO many shapes, about ten is enough.
2. When they are done, trace two lines through the page, one running vertical, one running horizontal, to break up a few more sections (this whole process should only take about 10-15 minutes with a grade 4 or 5 class.)
3. Students can begin to paint! They must paint considering SECTIONS, not SHAPES. This can be confusing for some. If you have divided up a circle into two parts, each part will contain combinations of analogous colors. While they are painting, they must simply fill in each section with two analogous colors, blending where they meet. Instruct students to paint sections all over their page, so that if they do have time to paint everything, it will still look finished.

Here are some finished paintings!

Super simple, and the kids LOVED it! Before you go, don't forget to enter my giveaway before Thursday!


  1. It looks like my 4th grade geometric shape paintings from last year: http://artteacheradventures.blogspot.com/2011/05/4th-grade-shape-paintings.html

    1. YES!! It was you! That's awesome, thanks! I'll add you now so I don't lose your blog.

  2. These are really great. Fantastic idea. Pinning.

  3. This is a great project! So many possibilities.....


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