Color Wheel Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Boost your instruction on the color wheel with the help of a text lesson and a hands-on activity. For deeper exploration of the topic, supplementary activities and related lessons have been included.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain a color wheel
  • identify primary, secondary, and tertiary colors
  • create primary, secondary, and tertiary colors


30 minutes


  • White paper plates
  • Red, blue and yellow crayons or colored pencils
  • Tablets, computers, or projector to access lesson

Curriculum Standards


Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Key Vocabulary

  • Primary colors
  • Secondary colors
  • Tertiary colors


  • Have students read the text lesson Analogous Colors: Definition & Examples in its entirety.
  • Using the paper plates and crayons/colored pencils, ask students to use the three primary colors to create a color wheel. This means that red, blue, and yellow will be evenly distributed on the paper plate.
  • Next, have students mix the primary colors with one another where they touch using the crayons/colored pencils to create secondary colors on their color wheels.
  • Now, have the students mix the primary and secondary colors to create tertiary colors on their color wheels.


  • Using red, blue, and yellow acrylic paint, an empty egg carton, and popsicle sticks, have students mix secondary and tertiary colors from the primary colors.
  • Using a famous painting, ask students to identify the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.

Related Lessons

What Are the Principles of Art? - Definition & Examples

What Are the Seven Elements of Art? - Definition & Examples

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