The Color Of Your Own:  Mixing Paint

Toni Spooner Horace Mann School
8050 South Chappel
Chicago IL 60617
(312) 535-6640


This lesson is designed for kindergarten and first grade students.
1. Students will be able to understand how to make simple old fashioned
paint solutions.
2. Students will be able to recognize primary and secondary colors.
3. Students will be able to understand how primary colors are used to make
secondary colors.

Materials Needed:

The book The Color Of His Own by Leo Lionni cups
Water brushes
Nonfat powdered milk tag board
Color additive materials such as: trays
beet juice color wheel
food coloring tongue depressors
colored paint powder
various flavors of kool-aid


1. To arouse the attention of students, the teacher sings the song of
identifying colors. It is the tune of Mary Had A Little Lamb.
"Who is wearing green today, who is wearing green? Please raise your hand." After the song, you settle the children down and begin asking the
children: what has color and what is painted?

2. Once the class has shared their knowledge about what has color and what
is painted, you share about the colonial times. In the colonial times,
people made paint from milk and other natural materials such as berries,
reddish-brown earth, and blood from animals. The milk was usually
leftover milk that had soured. Instead of throwing it away, colonial
people made paint with it. They used it to paint houses and furniture.

3. After this discussion, you start with the procedures of mixing paint.

4. With primary students, you should group the students in groups of three.
This enables each child to mix a primary color.

5. On a tray, place in a cup or bowl equal parts of water and nonfat dry
milk. You may have to adjust the quantity to make the consistency of
paint. Use the color additives of the three primary colors for the
children to mix.

6. After making the primary paint colors, have the children paint a picture
using the paints on tag board.

7. Next, have the children mix the primary colors to make the secondary
colors. After mixing, have the children paint another picture with all
the colors.

8. The children have made a simple, old fashioned paint that will dry in
about two hours.

Strategy 2:

1. This is an extension of strategy one. Have the students get into groups
of four.

2. On a tray, place in a cup or bowl equal parts of water and nonfat dry
milk. You may again want to adjust the concentrations to make the
consistency of paint. Have the children choose a color additive from the
kool-aid or any other additive you have gathered.

3. Have the children mix the different concentrations and paint using these
colors on the tag board.

4. Have the children explore with mixing paint and answer the following
1. What colors are best?
2. What colors can you make without mixing?
3. What colors mix well?
4. What colors can you mix by mixing other colors?

Performance Assessment:

The performance assessment would be showing a color wheel using the paints
the children have created and painting the colors on the wheel. I would
ask for the primary colors and next the secondary colors to be placed
afterwards. The worksheet shaped as a wheel would have the letter P for
primary and the letter S for secondary colors. This helps the children to
place the colors in the correct position.


After the performance assessment, the teacher would read the story The Color Of His Own. Each child would have flashcards with the words primary
and secondary on it. As the teachers reads the story and comes to a color
word, the children would have to hold up the flashcard that indicates a
primary color or secondary color. This is a great way to end the mini unit
on colors.


KITCHEN CHEMISTRY: (K-3) by Carson-Dellosa Publishing

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