SHIMMERING HUBCAP – Tints, Symmetry, Contrast

Students use a compass to design a hubcap divided into 7 equal parts, and colour it with neon paint and glitter glue.

Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Visual Arts


contrast hubcap symmetry tint


Crayola Neon Paint Crayola Paint Brushes Crayola Construction Paper - Black Crayola Sketchbooks Crayola Scissors Crayola Glitter Glue Pencils Rulers Compasses Erasers Water Containers Plastic Container Lids for Palettes Paper Towels

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SHIMMERING HUBCAP – Tints, Symmetry, Contrast - Step One

Step One

  1. Make a plan drawing in your sketchbook.
  2. Draw a large circle.
  3. Follow the instructions to divide it into 7 equal parts. (Downloads - DividingCircleSevenParts.pdf)
  4. Design a hubcap that represents you in some way.
  5. Shade in the negative spaces of your design.
  6. These will remain black when the design is painted.
SHIMMERING HUBCAP – Tints, Symmetry, Contrast - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Draw a large circle on the black construction paper.
  2. Divide it into 7 equal parts.
  3. Cut out a template for the main shape of your design.
  4. Trace around the template in each section of the circle.
SHIMMERING HUBCAP – Tints, Symmetry, Contrast - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use several layers of neon paint to complete the design.
  2. Paint white in the middle of the shapes.
  3. Paint a colour around the edges of the shapes.
  4. Blend the colours where they meet to go from light to dark.
  5. Repeat this process several times as each layer dries.
SHIMMERING HUBCAP – Tints, Symmetry, Contrast - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Trim the paper to make equal borders around the circle.
  2. Add glitter glue to parts of the design to add highlights and sparkle.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • follow instructions to divide a circle into 7 equal parts;
  • create a personal hubcap design;
  • use tints to create the illusion of depth;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


Have students:

  • explore ways to use a compass to create circular geometric designs based on different divisions, for example, threefold - tenfold symmetries;
  • use coloured watercolour paints to colour their designs;
  • teach another student how to divide a circle into a specific number of equal parts.


  1. Prior to this lesson provide time for students to practice using a compass.
  2. Review or teach the concept of symmetry and circular symmetry.
  3. Download and display the Colour, Contrast and Shape posters available on this website.
    - review or teach the element of shape – positive, negative
    - review or teach the principle of contrast – strong differences
    - review or teach the element of tints – colour with white added to it
  4. Download images of hubcaps from the Internet, for example,
  5. Download and copy the How to Divide a Circle into 7 Equal Parts worksheet, enough for each student to have one. (Downloads – DividingCircleSevenParts.pdf)


  1. View and discuss images of hubcaps. Invite students to share what they know about hubcaps, for example,
    - hubcaps cover the rim of a wheel
    - they protect the central part of the car’s wheel
    - they can be made of plastic or metal
    - some race cars have non-rotating hubcaps that stay in the same position even when the car is moving
  2. View examples of hubcaps and ask students to decide which one they like the best.
  3. Discuss why they like certain designs more than others.
    - angles of shapes
    - negative shapes
    - contrasting shapes
    - colour
    - feeling design evokes
  4. Brainstorm ways to make a hubcap design that reflects something about the designer, e.g.,
    - colour
    - shapes and angles
    - positive and negative shapes
    - feeling of speed, or safety
  5. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Follow instructions to divide a circle into 7 equal parts.
  2. Create a personal hubcap design.
  3. Use tints to create the illusion of depth.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used a compass to draw a circle
    - divided the circle into 7 equal parts

    - created a personal hubcap design
    - used tints to create the illusion of depth
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into groups of about 6.
  2. Ask them to view the hubcap designs and to share thoughts about the works.
  3. During the discussion include references to: 
    Design - How does the design make you feel? Why?
    - Colour - What effect do the colours have on the overall design?
    - Negative Shapes - What effect do the negative shapes have on the overall design?
    - Technical Accomplishment - Where can you see that the artist has paid attention to detail?
    - Message - What does the design tell you about the person who created it?
  4. Ask volunteers to share some ideas with the whole class. 


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their artworks – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, holds painting to the side, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Hubcap_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - ShimmeringHubcap_self-assessment.pdf)