Color Wheel Collage- A lesson plan

Birger Sandzen (American, 1871–1954) Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Jean and Bruce Conner, 2007.27.


Students will classify and sort collage materials to compose a color wheel showing primary and secondary colors.  


Let’s talk about color! Did you know that color is an element of art? Today we are going to look through magazines and special paper to find colors. We will all be inspectors looking for the same color, so make sure to be loud and proud when you find a color and share with your classmates.

Look at this painting. What colors do you see? Look again, do you see another color? Sometimes you have to really look to see all of the hues.

Review the color wheel and the Elements of Art



  1. Today we’re going to make our own color wheels. Open your magazines and find the color red. When you find red, you can cut it out or tear it out. Then, glue parts of it onto your color wheel. Just use a piece the size of your thumb so you can find other hues. Complete the red triangle piece of the color wheel
    • Complete this step as a class with orange, and green.
    • Students can go at their own pace for blue and purple
  2. Students are complete when they have filled the template with collage layers and no white paper is showing.
  3. Cut out the color wheel. Students can use the oil pastels or markers to fill in tiny pieces of white showing.
  4. Glue to a large piece of paper or hang from the ceiling (optional)


  1. Clean up. Ask students to clean up and return all materials. Everything but their work of art needs to be cleared off the table. Scraps that can be reused should be put back in the bin or can be recycled. Have students check under the floor for any scraps or other materials that need to be put away. When the floor and tables ae cleaned, have them sit in front of their work. Their artwork should remain at their desk for the “gallery walk” to conclude the lesson.
  2. Class and/or table group discussion. What did we learn? What was challenging? What felt familiar? Shout-outs to helpful neighbors?
  3. “Gallery walk”. Students will leave their artwork at their desk to be previewed by their classmates. (If they do not want to share, offer to turn over work). Invite students to line up behind you with their arms behind their backs. Discuss museum manners (hands to self, positive remarks). Slowly “snake” around the table groups so students may view the work of their peers.



K.VA:cr1.1 Engage in exploration and imaginative play with various art materials

1.VA:Cr1.1 Engage collaboratively in exploration and imaginative play with various arts materials

2.VA:Cr1.1 Brainstorm to generate multiple approaches to an art or design problem

3.VA:Cr1.1 Elaborate on an imaginative idea

4.VA:Cr1.2 Collaboratively set goals and create artwork that is meaningful and has purpose to the makers

5.VA:Cr2.2 Demonstrate quality craftsmanship through care for and use of materials, tools, and equipment.

6.VA:Cr2.1 Demonstrate openness in trying new ideas, materials, methods, and approaches in making works of art and design.




  • Color wheel templates, printed on cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Collage materials (specialty papers, magazine pages)
  • Glue sticks
  • Oil pastels and colored pencils


60 minutes

Grade Level



  • Visual Art


  • Simple Materials


  • Collage


Crocker Art Museum, adapted by Brittany Thurman