LIGHT TO DARK – Mixing a Model Magic Value Scale

Students use Model Magic to explore value by creating a scale from white to black. 

Required Time

40 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 3

Subject

Language Arts
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

black colour saturation knead value scale white

Materials

Paper Plates Model Magic, White and Black Crayola Washable Glue

Steps

LIGHT TO DARK – Mixing a Model Magic Value Scale - Step One

Step One

Roll a small ball of white Model Magic. Roll a ball of black Model Magic the same size as the white one. Flatten the balls and place them beside each other on the back of a paper plate.

LIGHT TO DARK – Mixing a Model Magic Value Scale - Step Two

Step Two

Take a small amount of white Model Magic about the size of a golf ball. Add a very small amount of black Model Magic to it so that it creates a very pale shade of grey. Break off a piece of the light grey Model Magic. Flatten it into a circle the same size as the white circle. Place it on the paper plate next to the white circle.

LIGHT TO DARK – Mixing a Model Magic Value Scale - Step Three

Step Three

Add a little more black Model Magic to the grey in order to create a slightly darker shade of grey. Break off a piece of the darker grey Model Magic. Flatten it into a circle the same size as the light grey circle. Place it on the paper plate next to the light grey circle.

LIGHT TO DARK – Mixing a Model Magic Value Scale - Step Four

Step Four

Repeat this process two more times, each time adding slightly more black Model Magic. You should now have a total of six values on your paper plate. Make sure that each value is different than one beside it. You may need to fasten each Model Magic circle to the plate with a small drop of Crayola Washable Glue. 

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Mix appropriate amounts of black Model Magic with white to make a six step value scale;
  2. Accurately place each value on a circular value scale; and
  3. Explain their thinking and the process they used to judge the amount of black to add for each step of the scale.

Extensions

  1. Have students create a work of art using only white, black and shades of grey.
  2. Have students create a value scale using another medium such as tempera paint or pencil, and then compare it with their Model Magic scale.
  3. Challenge students to mix different values of various colours and paint them randomly on a large piece of mural paper, gradually filling the paper with tints and shades of lots of colours. When the painting is finished ask them to find magazine photos to match as many colours as possible. Get them to cut or tear the pictures and collage them to the painted paper.  
  4. Have students analyse a painting and to locate the different values of colours used in it. 

Prepare

  1. Gather and make available to students books about colour, for example, Pantone: Colors, by Pantone, Mix It Up!, by Herve Tullet, A Book About Color: A Clear and Simple Guide for Young Artists, by Mark Gonyea, Mouse Paint, by Ellen Stoll Walsh, My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss
  2. Download the Value and Colour Posters available on this website.
    Posters
  3. Download black and white, and monochromatic pictures from the Internet, for example,
    Brooklyn Museum
    Playing Soldiers
    Who Is It?
    Monet
  4. Post an example of a value chart for student reference.

Introduction

  1. View and discuss the black and white photographs of paintings. Explain that in art, value means the lightness or darkness of a colour. Colours are made light and dark by adding either black or white.
  2. Challenge students to find as many values as possible in one of the black and white photographs. Ask them to guess what colours they think parts of the painting might be, and why.
  3. View the Monet monochromatic painting and discuss the use of value.
  4. Refer to the value scale and encourage students to use it as needed.
  5. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Mix appropriate amounts of black Model Magic with white to make a six step value scale;
  2. Accurately place each value on a circular value scale; and
  3. Explain your thinking and the process you used to judge the amount of black to add for each step of the scale.

The Process

  1. Ensure that all materials are readily available.
  2. Demonstrate how to make very light grey by adding a tiny amount of black Model Magic to white.
  3. Distribute paper plates and Model Magic. Ensure that it is kept in airtight containers and remind students to seal it from the air after each use to prevent drying out.
  4. Guide students through the steps outlined in the lesson plan.
  5. Observe students as they work.
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Display the completed value scales
  2. Lead a class discussion asking students what they learned about value and how it is used in artworks.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Download - VALUE_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Download - VALUE_self-assessment.pdf)