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Lesson #2 of Emotive Art Unit


Painting, Visual Art Analysis


K, 1st, 2nd


Visual and Performing Arts


50 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

What Do Colors Show? (Emotive Art #2)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 24, 2024
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This lesson guides students to explore color in art and the connection of color to emotions. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students explore colors, matching colors that relate to how they are feeling.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students investigate climate change artworks and identify colors and the feeling connected to that artwork.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students create their own color artwork to demonstrate a chosen feeling related to an artwork they are viewing.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students engage with hands-on activities to demonstrate their understanding of the relationship between color and emotions.
  • Students understand the meaning of climate change artworks.
  • Students understand why artists use color in their artwork.
  • Students practice painting techniques.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 2 of 3 in our K-2nd grade Emotive Art unit.

  • The Teacher Slideshow does not feature an Inquire section. You can use the Teacher Slideshow for the Investigate and Inspire sections of this lesson plan.

  • Make sure you prepare the Feelings Cards, templates, and painting materials prior to the lesson.

  • You can alternatively use cut-up colored paper instead of printing the Feelings Cards.

  • You will need to have artworks printed if you want students to participate in a gallery walk.


  • Students can complete the activities in pairs, small groups, or a whole class, dependent on ability.

  • Students could also split into ability groups to support all students.

Scientist Notes

This lesson builds the capacity of students to analyze the contents in an artwork, probe why the artists used the colors in the piece, and explore the underlying feelings attached to the colors. The activity in this lesson would also enable them to interpret the colors in artworks and communicate their feelings towards extreme climate impact. All the materials featured in the lesson have been verified, and this lesson is recommended for teaching.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Primary Standards

  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 2 - Organizing and developing ideas.
      • 1.5.2.Cr2a: Through experimentation, build skills and knowledge of materials and tools through various approaches to art making.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpreting intent and meaning.
      • 1.5.2.Re8a: Categorize and describe works of art, by identifying subject matter, details, mood, and formal characteristics.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 11 - Relating artistic ideas and works within societal, cultural, and historical contexts to deepen understanding.
      • 1.5.2.Cn11b: Describe why people from different places and times make art about different issues, including climate change.


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