This lesson combines art and music concepts to teach a catchy song that will help young students memorize their primary colors.  They will then translate their knew knowledge to an art activity to explore beyond  the primary colors into secondary colors.

Title of Lesson

Primary and Secondary Colors


Kindergarten Arts

Complementary subject: music


The Primary Color song for easy remembering of the primary colors:

The Primary Color Song
(sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice)

Red, Yellow, Blue
Red, Yellow, Blue
I see you
Red, Yellow, Blue
You are the primary colors
You make all the other colors
I wish I was a color
Like Red, Yellow, Blue


ART.VA.I.K.2       Work with materials and tools safely with environmental awareness.
ART.VA.I.K.3       Explore the elements of art through playful sensory experiences.
ART.VA.I.K.4       Prepare, complete, and sign finished artwork.
ART.VA.II.K.1      Explore the basic uses of art materials to produce artwork.
ART.VA.II.K.2      Use a variety of lines, colors, and basic geometric shapes and patterns to creatively express feelings and personal experiences.
ART.VA.II.K.4      Select subject matter and communicate a personal story in a painting or drawing.
ART.VA.II.K.5      Express thoughts and ideas through the creation of artwork.
ART.VA.III.K.4    Describe a personal artwork.
ART.VA.V.K.1       Identify and discuss art in the student’s environment.


Students will:

  • Identify primary and secondary colors.
  • Explain how mixing primary colors can create secondary colors.
  • Create marble art pieces to demonstrate their understanding of primary and secondary colors, as well as how to make secondary colors.


  • Red, yellow, blue paints
  • Several marbles
  • Shallow cardboard boxes
  • Tape
  • Paper plates
  • Smocks
  • Color Palette Worksheet
  • Whiteboard
  • Red, yellow, blue dry erase markers
  • An array of colored markers, crayons, or colored pencils – ensure you have several colors for each child to choose from.


  • primary color
  • secondary color
  • shade
  • tint
  • hue

Class Time Needed

Lesson can expand across three days, or be condensed into 1-2 long lessons.


To minimize on mess, parent volunteers would be a great asset for the marble art portion of this lesson plan.

Lesson Procedure

Day 1: 15-30 minutes

  1. Introduce the concept of primary and secondary colors by discussing red, yellow, and blue.  Demonstrate the colors by coloring circles of each color on the whiteboard using dry erase markers.  This allows students to more easily visualize the lesson.
  2. Discuss how red, yellow, and blue are primary colors. These are the “main” colors that all other colors are made from.  Teach the students the Primary Color song, which is sung to the tune of “Three Blind Mice.”  The lyrics are:
    Red, Yellow, Blue
    Red, Yellow, Blue
    I see you
    Red, Yellow, Blue
    You are the primary colors
    You make all the other colors
    I wish I was a color
    Like Red, Yellow, Blue
  3. Ask students questions about the primary colors, such as: if they have ever mixed these colors together and what colors they have made; how they have mixed colors (using what medium); what happens when they mix two colors, three colors, or all colors together?
  4. Once the students have thought about the colors they have mixed, hand each child the color palette worksheet. Ask students to color circles on their papers of colors and think  about how each color was made.
  5. Have students suggest colors they think are made from mixing other colors; ask the students what colors they think are mixed to make the color they suggested – write the name of the color on the board beneath the primary colors. Discuss how these mixed colors are hues, tints, and shades of the primary colors, and then define each type (hue, tint, shade).  Discuss primary versus secondary colors.

Day 2: 30-60 minutes

  1. Start the lesson by singing the Primary Color song.
  2. Divide students into groups to minimize the number of paint stations in the classroom. Each group should have a paper plate on which you will poor blue, red, and yellow paint.
  3. Each student should have their own cardboard boxes. Cereal boxes with one side cut out work great for this: be sure to tape the sides of the box shut so that a marble can safely roll around in the box.
  4. Have each student put on their smock. Then, put one marble in each color of paint.  Each student should use one marble from each color of paint to roll in their boxes, creating a marble art piece of the primary colors.
  5. To create secondary colors, have each student pick a color they would like to create. For example: a student may saturate a marble in the yellow paint, and then dip it into the red paint as well.  Then, when rolling the marble in the box, they will see how the combined colors create orange.  At this point, it is okay to mix paint colors as they dip – the mess is fun!  As the students create their artwork, encourage discussion about the colors they are making, whether they are primary or secondary, and whether or not they are creating hues, tints, or shades.  Ask students why they chose a certain color, what they like about that color, and what other things are that color.

Day 3: 15 minutes

  1. Start the lesson by singing the Primary Color song.
  2. The marble art pieces should be dry and ready to show off to each other/take them home. Students may discuss with each other or as a whole class the colors they created.

Extension Activity

15-30 minutes

Choose a piece of artwork that is fun to look at and has many colors represented.  Ask students to look for the primary colors.  Then, ask the students to look for secondary colors.  Ask which colors were created to make the secondary colors that they spot.  Subsequently, allow the students to create their own drawing, and have them pay attention to which colors they are using.  Circulate the room and check in with students, asking them which colors they are using, whether they are primary or secondary, and if secondary which colors can be mixed to create the secondary color.


Image credits: Poissy Design,