GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape

Students use paint to explore colour mixing as they create a symmetrical work of art for a loved one.


Required Time

60 Minutes

Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten to Kindergarten


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour mirror image paint shape symmetry tools value


Decorative Items Picture of Student Variety of Sponges Heavy Weight Paper 22 cm x 30 cm (9" x 12") Tempera Paint, Red Tempera Paint, White Markers Scissors Construction Paper Glue Stick


GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape - Step One

Step One

  1. Use the template to trace a heart onto your white paper. 
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Carefully cut out the heart. It is a symmetrical shape.
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use the sponges and different colours of paint to completely cover your heart. While you are working think about these questions:
    What painting tool do you like to use? Why?
    - Do the sponges look different when you stamp them with the paint?
    - What shapes do you see?
    - Look at the different shapes. Why do you think new shapes are created when 2 colours mix on your paper?
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Fold a 20 cm x 25 cm (8" x 10") piece of construction paper in half lengthwise (hot dog fold).
  2. Place your hand and arm up to your elbow on the paper and trace it with a pencil.
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Keep the paper folded and carefully cut around the outline of your hand and arm. You will get 2 copies by keeping the paper folded.
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Glue a small head shot picture 6 cm x 6 cm (2.5" x 2.5") of yourself in the middle of the heart. 
  2. Use a black fine tip marker to write Guess how much I love you . . . under the picture.
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Glue some decorative items onto the heart to make it extra special.
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Place the painted heart face down on the table.
  2. Glue both arms onto the back of the heart so they are a mirror image of each other. 
  3. Make sure the thumbs are facing up and they are directly opposite each other.
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? – Colour, Value, Shape - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Look carefully at your completed artwork. How do you know that it is a symmetrical design?
  2. Give your creation to someone you love!

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:​

  1. Trace and cut out a symmetrical shape;
  2. Mix different values of red paint and use them to express their feelings;
  3. Use their imagination and problem-solving skills;
  4. Explain their process; and
  5. Express opinions about the works.


  1. Have students look for other materials around the classroom they could use to paint with.
  2. Encourage them to use the materials to create new paintings and compare the results.
  3. Ask questions such as,
    How are the tools alike?
    - What do the tools do differently?
    - How are the marks different from each other? Why?
    - What tools did you like working with? Why?


  1. Gather required art materials and set up a painting centre.
    - Mix different amounts of red and white paint in 4 containers. Make one container red, one white, and the other 2 containers different values of red from pale pink to deep pink. 
    - Have a variety of sponges for the students to use with the paints. Wrap elastics around a sponge so it will create lines when stamping.
  2. Create several heart tracers for students to share. Use the whole 22 cm x 30 cm (9" x 12") sheet of heavy weight paper to make each heart tracer.
  3. Gather and make available some books about colour theory, for example, Color Dance, by Ann JonasThe Game of Red, Yellow, and Blue, by Herve Tullet; The Black Book of Colorsby Menena Cottin; and The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt.  
  4. Download the Value poster available on this website.
  5. Make a sample heart with arms attached, but not painted or embellished.



  1. Use an appropriate story book and the poster to introduce the concept of value (lightness or darkness of a colour).
  2. Explain that by practising mixing colours students can train their eyes to see subtle differences.
  3. Show students the heart with arms attached and fold the sample in half to demonstrate the idea of symmetrical shapes and mirror images. 
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Trace and cut out a symmetrical shape.
  2. Mix different values of red paint and use them to express your feelings.
  3. Use your imagination and problem-solving skills.
  4. Explain your process.
  5. Express opinions about the works.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  3. Demonstrate how little paint is required to mix colours.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. From time to time ask them to stop and view their work from a bit of a distance so they can see it with 'fresh eyes'.
  6. Ask students:
    - How did you create the different values of red you have there?
    - I see different colours of pink than are in the paint containers. How did that happen?
    - I see some lines and patterns. How did that happen?
  7. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Once all the artworks are complete display them for a group discussion. 
  2. Ask students:
    Why do we have so many different values of red and pink?
    - How do you know these artworks are symmetrical designs?
    - What painting tool did you like best?
    - What do the colours red and pink make you feel or think of?
    - What did you enjoy most about doing this activity? Why?
    - How do you think the person who receives this artwork will feel? What do you see that makes you say that?